HERNDON, Va., January 16, 2019 – The number of healthcare claims paid electronically via the ACH Network continued robust growth in 2018, new figures from Nacha show.
More than 306.7 million ACH electronic funds transfer (EFT) payments were made from health plans to healthcare providers last year, an increase of over 11.5 percent from 2017.
The figure is also more than double the number of payments made in 2014, the year the federally mandated healthcare EFT standard rule took effect. It requires that all health plans pay providers by ACH at the provider’s request.
The value of 2018’s payments came in at $1.59 trillion, up more than 10 percent from the year before. It’s also an increase of over 80 percent from 2014.
“Many of America’s healthcare providers are experiencing the benefits of receiving claim payments by ACH,” said Nacha Chief Operating Officer Jane Larimer. “Providers are realizing that automated ACH deposits are cheaper and faster than manually processing checks or virtual credit cards.”
Those savings add up. CAQH, a non-profit alliance of health plans and trade associations, has reported in its CAQH Index that the healthcare industry could save an additional $450 million annually if the remaining manual claim payments are converted to ACH.
“In 2019, Nacha encourages all healthcare providers to request that claim payments be made via ACH,” said Larimer.
Nacha is a nonprofit organization that convenes hundreds of diverse organizations to enhance and enable electronic payments and financial data exchange within the U.S. and across geographies. Through development of rules, standards, governance, education, advocacy, and in support of innovation, Nacha’s efforts benefit the providers and users of those systems. Nacha leads groups focused on API standardization, authors the Quest Operating Rules for EBT and is also the steward of the ACH Network, a payment system that universally connects all U.S. bank accounts and facilitates the movement of money and information. In 2017, there was a total of nearly 26 billion ACH transactions. Of these, 21.5 billion ACH payments valued at $47 trillion moved across the ACH Network, and more than 4 billion were on-us transactions within financial institutions.