What is Electronic Funds transfer (EFT)

Electronic Funds Transfer

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): With EFT, Medicare can send payments directly to a  provider’s financial institution whether claims are filed electronically or on paper. All Medicare providers may apply for EFT.


Advantages of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): EFT is similar to other direct deposit operations such as paycheck deposits, and it offers a safe modern alternative to paper checks. Providers who use EFT may notice the following benefits:

    Reduction to the amount of paper in the office
    Valuable time savings for staff and avoidance of hassle associated with going to the bank to deposit Medicare check
    Elimination of the risk of Medicare paper checks being lost or stolen in the mail
    Faster access to funds; many banks credit direct deposits faster than paper checks
    Easier reconciliation of payments with bank statements.

How to Enroll in EFT: All Medicare contractors include an EFT authorization form in the Medicare enrollment package, and providers can also request a copy of the form after they have enrolled. Providers simply need to complete this short form, mail it to their Medicare contractor, and include a voided blank check to facilitate the transfer. Medicare payments will be made directly to the financial institution through EFT, in as little as two weeks.


EFT Formats: Medicare contractors can use one of two formats to transmit provider electronic claim payments to financial institutions: Automatic Clearinghouse (ACH) format, or table 1 of the X12 835 version 40101A1 implementation guide which was adopted as a national standard under HIPAA for electronic payment and remittance advice. Both of these formats are considered national standards.



Submission of an EFT Agreement
Q: As an established provider with Medicare who receives paper checks, does an electronic funds transfer (EFT) agreement need to be included when I submit a change to my provider enrollment file?


A: Yes, unless you are reassigning all of your Medicare benefits to your employer or a clinic/group practice.
First Coast Service Options Inc. (First Coast) requires the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) authorization agreement (CMS-588) form if you are submitting an initial provider enrollment application or a change to an existing Medicare provider file that has not previously been set up for EFT.
When submitting the EFT authorization agreement, be sure to use the CMS-588 (09/13) version external pdf file of the form. The form must be complete, accurate, and include the original signature of the authorized/delegated official, as well as the signature date. Remember to include a confirmation of the account information on bank letterhead and/or a voided check. With the EFT authorization, Medicare can send payments directly to your financial institution whether claims are filed electronically or on paper.

Note: Please check with your bank for the proper number to report as the routing number on your EFT form. First Coast has determined that some banks may not use the routing number located at the bottom of your pre-printed check or deposit ticket for direct deposits but may use the automated clearing house (ACH) number located elsewhere on the check or deposit ticket.
An organization or facility does not need to submit an EFT for each of its members, only for the legal entity.


EFT FAQ
Q: If I already receive my Medicare payments electronically, do I have to submit a new electronic funds transfer (EFT) agreement (CMS-588) when I revalidate? What if I receive paper-based payments from Medicare (i.e., checks)?


A: All providers enrolling in Medicare must use electronic funds transfer (EFT) in order to receive payments. Moreover, any provider not currently on EFT that submits a revalidation application must also submit a Form CMS-588 and thereafter receive payments via EFT.
If you have submitted a new Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Authorization Form (CMS-588) after May, 2010 or September, 2013, then you have the most recent version of the EFT form on file and a new EFT form is not required. If you have not submitted the 05/10 or 09/13 versions of the EFT form, then you must submit one with your revalidation application.

If you are submitting a paper application, the most current version of the CMS-588 (09/13) external pdf file can be found on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website.

If you are submitting your revalidation application online via internet-based PECOS, the system includes a section for EFT and the separate form, CMS-588, is not necessary.


CMS-588 Electronic funds transfer (EFT)

EFT is a form of direct deposit that allows the transfer of Medicare payments directly from a Medicare contractor’s bank to a provider’s bank account. CMS requires that all providers enrolling or changing existing enrollment information must use EFT.

The EFT authorization agreement form may be downloaded from the CMS website https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/downloads/CMS588.pdf external pdf file. The form must be complete, accurate, and include the original signature of the authorized/delegated official as well as the signature date.

Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) will continue to accept the 09/13 version of the CMS-588 through December 31, 2017. After December 31, 2017, the MACs will return any newly submitted 09/13 versions of the CMS-588 applications. The provider/supplier must then submit a current version (01/17) of the CMS-588.

Mailing instructions

Mail the completed CMS-588 Form to:
First Coast Service Options
PO Box 3409
Mechanicsburg PA 17055-1849


Check the status of your application with the Enrollment status lookup

Complete and accurate applications will usually be processed within 45-60 days. You will receive a confirmation letter when all processing has been completed.
To check the status of your EFT application or any other provider enrollment application, you may use First Coast’s Enrollment status lookup. This versatile application allows you to check the status of your enrollment in the Medicare program in two ways. You may search for all pending applications by entering your National Provider Identifier (NPI) and provider transaction access number (PTAN), or you may check the status of a specific application by entering the 12-digit correspondence control number (CCN) and three-digit record number (listed in your acknowledgement letter).
If you have a general question about EFT agreements, you may call the appropriate number below:
Florida
• Medicare Provider Enrollment Part A & B -- (888) 845-8614
• Medicare Part A application -- (888) 664-4112
• Medicare Part B application -- (866) 454-9007
Puerto Rico
• Medicare Provider Enrollment Part A & B -- (888) 845-8614
• Medicare Part A application -- (877) 908-8433
• Medicare Part B application -- (877) 715-1921
U.S. Virgin Islands
• Medicare Provider Enrollment Part A & B -– (888) 845-8614
• Medicare Part A application -- (888) 664-4112
• Medicare Part B application -- (866) 454-9007
A group does not need to submit an EFT form for each of its members. Only the group submits the form and indicates the group PIN and NPI if issued.


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