The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Aug. 7 released an interim final rule adopting operating rules for electronic transfer of health care funds and remittance advice under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. As recommended by the American Hospital Association, the rule adopts operating rules developed by the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare's Committee on Operating Rules for Information Exchange, which link the remittance advice with the fund transfer so health care providers can match the transactions when they arrive separately.
The interim final rule takes effect Aug. 10 with comments accepted for 60 days. Health plans and other HIPAA-covered entities, including hospitals, must comply with the operating rules by Jan. 1, 2014.
When combined with an earlier rule adopting federal standards for electronic fund transfer and remittance advice, CMS estimates the operating rules will save between $2.7 billion and $9 billion in administrative costs over 10 years by reducing manual administrative processes for physicians, hospitals and health plans.