How to start receiving EFTs through ACH: A NACHA Guide for Healthcare Service Providers

The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) has set up a guide for healthcare service providers to help them start using the ACH networks for EFTs. This article will look at the basic guidelines set forth in the guide from the perspective of working with a Payment Service Provider (PSP).Moving from paper-based payments to EFTs through the ACH network will result in significant cost savings, reduced operating costs, and improved cash management capabilities. For a smooth transition from paper based checks to EFT payments through ACH, NACHA advises healthcare service providers to follow a three step approach:

Step 1: Healthcare providers should contact a payment gateway service like Payment21® to discuss services offered to assist in receiving EFTs through the ACH Network

To help determine cost and understand the process, discuss the following with your payment gateway partner:

  • What fees, if any, are associated with receiving EFT payments
  • How do these differ from depositing checks
  • What Web-based services are available to review your account activity
  • What reporting features do they offer to see what deposits you have received, debit blocks or debit filters
  • What are the return timeframes for unauthorized debits and how quickly must you notify your bank of an unauthorized debit
  • Advise your bank that you want to receive the ACH Addenda record information (TRN reassociation key)
  • What kind of fraud prevention services do they offer (like Verification LoopTM and Mitigation MonitorTM by Payment21®)

Step 2: Contact the Health Plan

Contact the Health Plan to complete the enrollment forms for receiving EFT payments.

Be sure to check the following:

  • What forms they require
  • How long does it take to begin receiving EFT payments instead of checks
  • Who should you contact at the Health Plan if you run into a problem
  • Is there a difference in processing timeframes between checks and ACH
  • Work with your financial institution or Payment Service Provider (PSP) to understand the process for receiving EFTs through the ACH Network
  • Change back-office processes and procedures to facilitate the electronic transfer of funds

Step 3: Continue to work closely with your payment gateway provider to begin receiving EFTs through the ACH Network

Click here to start receiving EFTs through ACH with Payment21®.

Source: ACH Primer for Healthcare, NACHA, 2013


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