Paper or Plastic? – Your Insurance Payments

Paper or Plastic?

The age old question of your friendly neighborhood grocer, “Paper or Plastic?”, is now all the buzz in the world of insurance payments. In recent years, technology has taken healthcare by storm and now insurance payments are at the forefront of the conversation. Now is the time for you to consider the transition to the electronic before it literally costs you.

Don’t Resist – Embrace the Benefits


Some may recall the introduction of the paycheck direct deposit and the resistance when they were first introduced. People were so accustomed to the physical depositing and withdrawal of money with a human at the bank, that the idea of it being deposited electronically or with a machine seemed unfathomable.  Now many employees are surprised to learn when a company doesn’t do direct deposits. Gone are the incessant bank lines on a Friday afternoon and the hurried rush to the bank to before closing time.

We have come so far with the personal bank transactions, why should our business transactions be any different? With the growth of  ACH and debit payment options, why should we respond any differently to the idea of electronic fund transfers (EFTs) to receive payments. Similar to the benefits of direct deposit, payments deposited are most often available immediately. There is no need to pay your staff or spend hours of your own week making trips to the bank. You no longer have to worry about your staff investing countless hours manually processing paper checks and whether they’ve calculated deposit slips accurately. You no longer have to be plagued with the fear of possible damages by a disgruntled or disorganized employee, resulting in lost or stolen checks.

Say “No” to Plastic…


Payers are even looking for ways to cut costs related to paper check processing and reconciliation. In recent months, many payers have begun issuing payments in the form of virtual credit cards in place of paper checks.  If you have received such reimbursements and processed the credit card transactions you are paying unnecessary terminal processing fees to receive your reimbursement on claims and receiving the deposits according to your credit card company’s schedule. Keep in mind, these fees are in addition to the other reductions, such as contractual adjustments, you may have already taken. We recommend calling the payer and requesting not to receive such form of payment. With some payers the only way to exempt yourself from receiving credit payments is to enroll in EFTs. If that is the case, why pay fees to receive your insurance payments and pay your staff to process them? Yet another reason to embrace EFT.

In the government’s efforts to standardize and streamline healthcare transactions via their Administrative Simplification Compliance Provisions, they have worked to centralize the EFT enrollment process. CAQH’s Enroll Hub is the engine created to reduce the paperwork and headaches of completing a mountain of carriers individual EFT enrollment forms.

Many top organizations including the American Medical Association (AMA), have released numerous recommendations for the implementation of EFTs to streamline payments received by practices. It’s time for you to jump on board, save money and get paid faster!

JASMINE VJasmine Vializ is the President and CEO of Integrated Practice Solutions, a billing and practice management company designed to increase the quality of healthcare by helping doctors to prioritize their patients while boosting their bottom line.

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