Share your story: Electronic Funds Transfer and Electronic EOB’s, replacing paper checks and reports

Are you part of a practice that uses EFT? Do you use the capability of your practice software to receive and reconcile EOB’s? Have you tried and made it happen? Or maybe not. No matter. We want to hear from you!

What is an EFT?

EFT is the electronic transfer of funds from one account to another. EFT offers a safe, convenient, timely and less expensive alternative to paper checks or virtual card payments. Everyone who has used an ATM, or paid a bill via their bank’s web site or app, has made an EFT. In the dental payer reimbursement world, EFT means that a payer will send the payment directly to your bank account in lieu of sending you a paper check.

What is an ERA?

An ERA is the electronic equivalent to a paper Explanation of Benefits (EOB) or a proprietary Explanation of Payment (EOP) transaction, documents that explain claim payments made to a dentist.

A benefit of accepting both EFT payments and ERAs is that they can be linked. When used in combination fully automated reconciliation is possible – saving staff time for other important work that will keep operatory chairs filled and the practice busy.

On average, EFT funds are available seven days faster than paper checks and staff time is not required for bank visits to make deposits. EFT also eliminates the risk of lost or stolen checks, or stolen virtual card numbers.

While only 6 percent of dentists receive their claim payments via EFT—in contrast to over 90 percent for other health care providers—that number is expected to grow, with more dental payers requiring EFT as the favored method of payment to dental offices.

The Center for Dental Benefits, Coding and Quality wants to hear your stories. Why? Because both new and established dentists can learn from each other. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. What can you talk about?

  • Have you considered accepting EFTs or ERAs or both—and what did you decide to do?
  • What pros and cons were considered when deciding whether or not to accept either or both electronic transaction?
  • What steps were taken to integrate one or both into your office workflow?
  • Provide descriptions of what worked and why? What did not work and why?
  • Give examples of obstacles faced and how they were, or were not, overcome.

Please tell us at dentalbenefits@ada.org.

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