Speedy payment delivery has come a long way with the advent of electronic remittance advice. By swapping paper remittance advice for electronic remittance, providers have reduced errors and rejections due to those errors, cut down on claim follow-up, and expedited posting of payments and account reconciliation.

And if everyone had adopted electronic remittance advice (ERA), there would be a great success story to tell in reducing costs and increasing efficiency for the health care industry. Unfortunately, that’s not the case – and there’s still more work to do.

Not all health plans use ERAs, and instead, many still issue explanation of benefit (EOB) forms to providers. Unlike ERAs, EOBs have no standard. The different formats with varying length and detail make reconciliation and posting a tedious and time-consuming process rife with opportunity for errors. And because the workflow for posting an ERA is different than posting EOBs, providers have to manage a dual process just to record their payments.

There are tools available that can help. EOB to ERA conversion is a product offered by some banks, a limited number of vendors (including Availity) and a few specialized businesses. A good EOB to ERA conversion tool will convert paper and electronic EOB documents into basic electronic posting file so you get a standardized view of all remittances. A great EOB to ERA tool will automate that process, and save countless hours for your billing staff.

Using a tool for EOB to ERA conversion can be a real asset to your revenue cycle, particularly if you have a larger practice – those are the groups that tend to see the greatest return on their investment. The most immediate and evident value that remittance automation provides is the reduction of data entry and the elimination of costs associated with handling paper remittances.

If you’re considering EOB to ERA conversion, Availity’s EOB to ERA product provides an automated remittance and posting process; ultimately reducing back-office costs, lowering days in A/R and accelerating cash flow.