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Hospitals Could Save $9 Billion Under EFT Rules, HHS Says

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 8, 2012

New federal rules for electronic claims payments will cut red tape and could save healthcare providers and plans as much as $9 billion over the next decade, the Department of Health and Human Services says.

The interim final rules, announced this week, use the healthcare electronic fund transfer standards that the federal government adopted in January. The EFT and electronic remittance advice operating rules, also announced this week, are projected to save between $2.7 billion and more than $9 billion in administrative costs over 10 years by cutting manual administrative processes for providers and plans, HHS said in a media release.

"These new rules will cut red tape, save money, and ensure doctors spend more time seeing patients and less time filling out forms," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

Under existing manual payment systems, physicians and hospitals deposit paper checks and post and reconcile claims payments in their accounting systems. HHS says receiving payments electronically and automating the posting of the payments will reduce administrative time and expenses for physicians and hospitals.

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