NACHA Announces Healthcare EFT via ACH Volume Exceeds 149 Million Transactions in 2014

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Healthcare Industry Saves More Than $295 Million by Using Standard EFT Transactions

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The administrative simplification goal of the Affordable Care Act was to create efficiencies and cost-savings for the healthcare industry," said NACHA's Priscilla Holland. "The healthcare EFT standard represents a success story on both fronts.

NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association announced today that the volume of healthcare EFT transactions via the ACH Network exceeded 149 million transactions, transferring $876.6 billion in claim payments from health plans to providers. Specifically, healthcare EFT transaction volume via ACH in the fourth quarter 2014 increased by approximately 150 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2013, the first period for which transaction volume is available. The CAQH 2013 U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index estimates an industry savings of $1.98 per claims check converted to an ACH payment. The estimated savings to the healthcare industry overall is approximately $295 million compared to using paper checks.[1]

The volume of healthcare payments made via the ACH Network has grown dramatically since the CCD+ Addenda was named by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the EFT standard for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The federally mandated healthcare EFT standard rule, which became effective January 1, 2014, requires that all health plans be able to deliver the healthcare EFT standard via ACH if it is requested by the provider.

“Industry dialogue shows that more providers are receiving healthcare standard EFT transactions via ACH directly deposited into their bank accounts, and more health plans are delivering the healthcare EFT for claim payments,” said Priscilla Holland, senior director of healthcare payments at NACHA. “Case studies of a single provider practice, a multiple provider practice, and a large hospital company published by NACHA demonstrate the value proposition for providers of receiving a higher percentage of their claims payments via ACH and electronic remittance advices (ERA’s).”

By using the new healthcare EFT standard, providers have benefited from both time and cost efficiencies. The transactions are more secure than traditional checks, offer a potential savings of $1.98 per payment, are HIPAA compliant, and allow for automatic reassociation between the payment and the remittance advice.[2]

“The administrative simplification goal of the Affordable Care Act was to create efficiencies and cost-savings for the healthcare industry, and the healthcare EFT standard represents a success story on both fronts,” said Holland. “ACH offers a cost-effective, standardized payment method for all parties, and the reassociation capabilities built into the CCD+ Addenda allow for information to travel with the payment, simplifying accounting procedures for providers.”

For the past year, NACHA has focused on educating the healthcare industry about the EFT standard. From speaking engagements at industry events and webinars to articles and newsletter outreach, efforts have centered on the benefits of the healthcare EFT standard to support the industry in making an educated choice on electronic payment options. For example, an upcoming webinar scheduled for February 26, “CAQH CORE and NACHA Webinar: NACHA Case Studies” details the specifics of how to leverage the EFT standard for healthcare. For additional information or to sign up for NACHA’s quarterly Health ePayments News newsletter, visit healthcare.nacha.org.

[1] 2013 U.S Healthcare Efficiency Index
[2] 2013 U.S Healthcare Efficiency Index

About NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association
Since 1974, NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association has served as trustee of the ACH Network, managing the development, administration and rules for the payment network that universally connects all 12,000 financial institutions in the U.S. The Network, which moves money and information directly from one bank account to another, supports more than 90 percent of the total value of all electronic payments in the U.S. Through its collaborative, self-governing model, education, and inclusive engagement of ACH Network participants, NACHA facilitates the expansion and diversification of electronic payments, supporting Direct Deposit and Direct Payment via ACH transactions, including ACH credit and debit payments, recurring and one-time payments; government, consumer and business transactions; international payments, and payments plus payment-related information. Through NACHA’s expertise and leadership, the ACH Network is now one of the largest, safest, and most reliable systems in the world, creating value and enabling innovation for all participants. Visit nacha.org for more information.

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Kendra Beasley
NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association
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