With Electronic Funds Transfer, Medicare payments are sent directly to the provider’s bank account. There are many advantages to EFT. The following lists a few of these:
- EFT eliminates the manual handling of checks.
- EFT reduces mail time to receive Medicare payments, resulting in a more timely payment.
- EFT saves staff time, no more trips to the bank, and easier payment/bank reconciliations.
- EFT is a more secure method of receiving payments.
- EFT upgrades to a more electronic environment by reducing paperwork.
- EFT is an important first step in disaster recovering planning.
Mandation of Electronic Funds Transfer
With the issuance of Version 4/06 of the CMS-855A Medicare Enrollment Application, CMS mandated Electronic Funds Transfer. Anytime the provider requests an enrollment change, if the provider is not already on EFT, the CMS-588, Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), must be submitted with the CMS-855A application. The enrollment application cannot be approved unless the EFT agreement is on file. CMS also does not allow provider’s that are receiving payments electronically, to terminate their EFT.
Submitting a Request for Electronic Funds Transfer
If the provider needs to make an EFT change, an approved 855 enrollment application must be on file with the Contractor. If one is not on file, it must be completed and submitted with the EFT request. The CMS-855A application must be completed in full, similar to an initial enrollment (i.e., all sections required). If the provider already has an approved 855 enrollment application on file, simply complete all fields on the CMS-588 EFT form and submit to the Contractor with a voided/cancelled check. If this is not available, a confirmation of the account on bank letterhead may be submitted. It should contain the name of the account, electronic routing transit number, account number and type, and the bank officers name and signature. This will be used to verify the account number.
Completing the CMS-588 EFT Form
The following are guidelines to assist in completing the EFT form:
- Complete all fields in all sections.
- The form must contain an original signature and date.
- The EFT agreement must be signed by the same authorized
official that signs the enrollment application.
- All provider names and addresses listed on the
EFT agreement must match the data on the CMS-855A enrollment application.
- Ensure the provider name, address, and bank information
listed on the form is correct and matches the voided/cancelled check
or bank confirmation.
- The provider must have sole control of the bank
account. This is required in order for the EFT to be approved.
- Review the step by step instructions included with the CMS-588 form prior to submitting the request.