Monday, April 26, 2010

TAWPI @ NACHA Payments

Posted by Mark Brousseau

Today’s announcement that NACHA was bringing its long-awaited Electronic Billing Information Delivery Service (EBIDS) to market got me wondering whether NACHA was planning to leverage a similar concept to address inefficiencies with health payments. After all, the attributes of the ACH Network that NACHA President and CEO Janet O. Estep cited as key differentiators for electronic bill payment and presentment – ubiquity, efficiency, security and the ability to pass information and payments across the network – also would prove valuable in the healthcare payments space.

“Your intuition is correct,” Estep told me during an exclusive interview at NACHA’s Payments 2010 event at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. “Healthcare payments have many attributes that are addressed by the ACH Network: There is a lot of information that must accompany payments. There are a lot of parties involved. And there is a need for security. There are standards available today within the ACH Network that can help transport health payments in a secure way.”

While NACHA has not had conversations with healthcare organizations, Estep said, “NACHA has engaged in conversations with a lot of direct financial institution members as healthcare payments have become a more important issue. We also have spoken with legislators and other rule-making bodies in healthcare. We even created a very small page on the NACHA Web site on healthcare payments. We’re going to continue this dialogue in the next year or so and see where it leads.”

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