March 17, 2021
Area(s) of Interest: Practice Management Payor Issues and Reimbursement
As recently reported, the California Medical Association (CMA) had received numerous complaints from physicians regarding the loss of payment remittance advice (PRA) access through the UnitedHealthcare (UHC) electronic payment platform, Optum Pay. CMA quickly jumped into action and coordinated with the American Medical Association (AMA) along with many other state and specialty organizations, to escalate these concerns with UnitedHealthcare.
In response to our advocacy, UnitedHealthcare has advised that the Optum Pay basic service will restore free access to payment remittances including:
- Providing detailed remittance information (downloadable PDFs), as well as access to 835 files for each payment processed through Optum Pay
- Access up to 13 months of payment data
Additionally, UHC has also announced that providers who enrolled in Optum Pay premium during the recent free trial period can cancel their enrollment through the end of March without penalty. Providers wishing to cancel their participation in Optum Pay premium should do the following:
- Fill out the cancellation form.
- Email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cancellations are effective on the date the form is received by Optum Pay.
Optum Pay Premium, a new paid subscription version of its free Optum Pay basic service, is meant to expand payment functionality and claim detail information for physician practices. The premium service allows access for an unlimited number of assigned users to all payment remittance advices in a PDF format. However, the premium service comes with a subscription cost of 0.5% per payment ($5 for every $1,000 in payments). As part of the rollout of Optum Pay Premium, the basic Optum Pay service began limiting the number of assigned users, a 30-day limit on claims payment data and a view only option for payment remittances.
UHC has also advised that providers may continue to obtain payment information through the UHC Document Vault function through the UHC portal. CMA has confirmed with UHC that remittances can be located in Document Vault under the PRA folder by searching under Check ID, Creation Date, TIN, Expiration Date, Provider or Check ID.
For more information regarding Optum Pay, please see the Optum Pay website. For more information regarding UHC’s Document Vault or accessing remittance advice information, see UHC’s resource on obtaining PRAs.