Dec 20, 2023 4 min read

Make Use Of EFTs For Faster And Secure Claims Payment

A claim is deposited into a dental provider's bank account directly using the electronic funds transfer (EFT) option. This reduces the amount of time and effort required to process claim payouts and does away with the requirement to take anything to the bank to be deposited. With Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payments as an alternative payment method, practices can accept payments more swiftly and securely. This makes your patient transaction quick and uncomplicated leading to increased claims payment and a smoother revenue cycle management. The American Dental Association has established a checklist for providers to start receiving electronic funds transfers (EFTs), which almost all insurance plans offer as a means of collecting more claim payments. It includes a number of resources to assist dental professionals in accepting EFTs for claim payments.

These are examples of an Electronic Funds Transfer:

  • Direct Deposits
  • Electronic Bill Payment through online banking
  • Debit Card Transactions
  • Phone Payments
  • ATM Transfers

Benefits of EFTs

  • Faster payments.
  • Elimination of risks such as lost, stolen or misdirected claim deposits.
  • Reduced amount of time and work for your staff.
  • Payments can be posted while you are away from the office.
  • Direct bank account transfers increase cash flow.
  • Easier to view Explanation of Payments (EOP), patient Explanation of Benefits (EOB), and Predeterminations as the providers have access to a protected portal.
  • Deposits of claim payments are made in a secure and private manner, and access is rigorously limited for each patient with a number of security elements.
  • Easier to verify payments by comparing them to ERAs.
  • If necessary, multiple bank accounts can be used.
  • It becomes simpler to organize payments from more than one insurance provider.
  • Accounting and Reconciliation are made simpler.

Here are some tips to handling EFTs

Always wait for a trace number and deposit date prior to posting

The trace number is a unique number associated with a specific deposit amount and the EFT's deposit date is the day it arrived in your bank account. This helps your practice confirm that the funds from the claim that insurance owes you have, in fact, been put into your bank account, and also identify the precise time it was deposited. Before you designate the claim as paid, check to make sure that the payment is processed to your account. Meanwhile, posting the incorrect amount can make it extremely difficult and confusing to balance your books later.

Weekly EFT balances are far more effective than daily ones

The idea of balancing your EFTs is rather straightforward. It simply implies that the amount in your bank account, insurance site, and dental software all add up to the same number. Although balancing your EFTs is simple, it is still laborious and you can easily get distracted. An excellent way to keep your payments organized is to designate a specific day for  balancing your EFTs without any interruption. Plan a day to review all of the payments from the previous week rather than logging into web portals every day to find a few little random payments.

Post dental insurance payments and balance your EFTs separately each day

Some dental practices choose to balance their EFTs in their bank accounts and also send insurance payments to their software at the same time. When you have to enter numbers  while you navigate between various web portals, it can become perplexing. Errors could arise easily, especially if the insurance provider is depositing your EFTs into various bank accounts. Therefore, it is better to post the dental insurance payments and balance the EFTs on separate days.

So, another important question that arises is-

“Why is it so important to balance the EFT payments?”

It is important  to make sure  you get every penny owed to you by the insurance providers. Each payment entered in your practice system should be accounted for in the bank. You cannot be too sure that  you are posting the right payments to your patients' accounts if you  are not balancing the payments periodically.

There is a  common misperception is that setting up an EFT is excessively challenging or time-consuming. However,  this is definitely not the case. As a matter of fact, it can be pretty easy. EFTs  are not only simple and effective, but it also enhances patient care while eventually saving you time  at the practice.

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