American Medical Association Offers EFT/ERA Guidance

The Chicago-based American Medical Association is offering free guidance to help physicians adopt the new electronic funds transfer and electronic remittance advice HIPAA rules.

The rules, which take effect Jan. 1, are designed to help payers standardize on the transactions they exchange with providers, and help providers automate the process of matching claims with responses and payments from the payers. Such automation could save both groups of organizations a robust amount of time and money.

“The new rules can benefit physicians by eliminating many mundane and costly manual tasks like depositing checks while cutting red tape,” said AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D. “This is a great opportunity for physicians to begin incorporating electronic transactions into their practice and reaping the benefits. The AMA’s toolkits and resources will help guide physicians through the necessary steps.”

The 32-page toolkit, which was released last week, includes sections on getting started with electronic transactions, key questions to ask vendors, clearinghouses and health plans, guidance on information technology solutions and an outline on the rules and standards for electronic transactions.

Further, the ERA section includes specific scenarios on how a practice might adopt electronic transactions, considerations for a specific practice, archived webinars and free software to aid in the transition. The EFT section also includes a case study, potential savings estimates, cost reporting tools and background about the rule.

The AMA also is offering links to other resources along with its own toolkit. The guidance is available at the AMA’s website,