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Heads-Up for Aetna Contracted Physicians: Electronic Payments Now Required


The hardship exemption that Aetna has allowed its contracted physicians so that they are able to receive paper check payments is closing.

The move to electronic payments by Aetna and other insurers follows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) lead in an effort to reduce costs.

Aetna providers must choose one of two electronic payment options:

  • Electronic funds transfer (EFT). EFT payments through the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) Network allows payments to be paid directly into a physician’s designated bank account. HIPAA requires that all health plans offer standardized EFT payments via the ACH Network. The fee for each ACH EFT transaction is about $0.34. Providers must request and register for this payment method with payers. One way to do this is at EnrollHub, the CAQH free multi-payer portal. Through the EFT payment system, providers can also elect to receive EFT email notices whenever Aetna transmits a payment. Visit NaviNet’s secured website to sign up for this option.


  • Virtual credit card (VCC). With this option, payers send credit card payment information and instructions to physicians. The physicians then can process the payments using their credit card technology. While this method may be beneficial to payers who often receive cash-back incentives from credit card companies, it can be very costly to health care providers. VCC payments are subject to transaction and interchange fees that can run as high as 5% per transaction for physician practices. These higher fees can be avoided by enrolling in EFT.

Aetna will be sending notices to those health care providers who have not already enrolled in an electronic payment option. The individual notices will contain specific enrollment deadlines which vary by physician.

Important note: Providers who do notmake a selection will be automatically enrolled in the VCC payment method.

Those providers who do not use CAQH, or who wish to enroll directly through Aetna, can visit to obtain enrollment forms. Call Aetna directly at (888) 632-3862 with questions or visit this Aetna website.

Let Us Manage All Your Payer Enrollment Services

If you require medical credentialing and payer enrollment needs for your practice or medical facility, please contact 1st Assistant. Our experienced and dedicated specialists will provide all credentialing and enrollment services quickly and will monitor your account for ongoing updates and re-attestations. Heidi Henderson, our company owner and President, is eager to meet you and discuss your payer enrollment needs. Please call us at 512.201.2668 or contact us via the website.

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