WEDI Offers EFT/ERA Guidance

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) has developed a whitepaper that offers guidance on how providers, payers and clearinghouses should implement process changes to meet the requirements of the electronic funds transfer (EFT) and electronic remittance advice (ERA) HIPAA transactions rule. The rule, which wasn’t included in the original HIPAA legislation but was later added as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was published as a final rule in July 2012. It gives providers, payers and clearinghouses until Jan. 1, 2014 to support EFT and ERA transactions.

The 29-page whitepaper, titled “EFT and ERA Enrollment Process,” was written by WEDI’s EFT subgroup, as well as representatives from the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare’s Committee on Operating Rules for Information Exchange and the National Automated Clearing House Association.

“Our healthcare environment is changing so rapidly that it’s very important to be able to share information and ensure that all parties involved in the changes not only understand the requirements but the impact to their businesses and their trading partners’ businesses,” said Pamela Grosze, vice president, PNC Bank, healthcare operations payers services. “Creating whitepapers like this allow us to provide a detailed explanation, best practices and answers to questions that healthcare entities may have now and in the future.”

The whitepaper, which was released in May, outlines EFT and ERA regulations and proposes specific examples for providers, payers and clearinghouses to follow as they implement process changes to meet the rule’s requirements. It also offers definitions of EFT and ERA related terms, sample EFT and ERA enrollment forms, sample EFT enrollment bank letters, examples of data formats and requirements of the ERA operating rule, and explanations of the differences between the EFT and ERA operating rules.

The whitepaper also offers a walkthrough for implementation of the EFT/ERA enrollment process as it relates to payers, providers and clearinghouses.