Patient Refunds
Oct 28, 2022

Digital Patient Refunds: What You Need to Know

Many healthcare providers are migrating to digital patient refunds, discover why and how in this guide.

Digital Patient Refunds: What You Need to Know

What Are Digital Patient Refunds?

Digital refunds are becoming a popular option among healthcare providers to process patient refunds. Instead of sending a check in the mail, providers using a digital patient refund service transfer money back to their patient instantly.

While digital money transfer is nothing new, the healthcare industry has lagged behind in adopting the technology. Whether it be over privacy concerns, cost, administrative burden, or something else – many providers feel hesitant to make the switch. But with healthcare-exclusive solutions like Right Refund™, all of these concerns are now alleviated.

 

How Do Digital Patient Refunds Work?

The process may seem complex, but it has been made very simple for patients and providers alike. When an overpayment is identified, the credit balance will be resolved in your EHR, per your procedures, and a digital refund will be issued. The patient is then notified via SMS and/or email with a secure link they can use to accept their refund.

Generally, these refunds will be accepted in the form of an ACH transfer to the patient’s bank account or, if selected, they can receive the money instantly by loading it onto a digital debit card. Through this process, healthcare providers can reduce the administrative workload (and cost) of sending refund checks while patients get their money faster and have an improved experience.

 

Why Not Just Send Checks?

Patients around the world have gotten accustomed to digital money transfer in so many other areas of their life, it’s time for their healthcare providers to join in the change. There are three main reasons a provider should opt for digital refunds over paper checks.

Checks are Expensive

According to The Association for Finance Professionals (AFP), every check a provider sends costs them $7. However, from our own research and client testimonials, we’ve seen the cost per check as high as $25 or more.

Checks are Wasteful

Between the paper, printer ink, fuel used by mail trucks, and more – the environmental impact of sending thousands of paper checks by mail can’t be ignored. Multiply this by tens of thousands of hospitals and physicians across the country and the problem becomes even more evident. Digital refunds reduce your organization’s carbon footprint, which many of your patients, staff and business partners value.

Checks Cause Compliance Concerns

Getting patient refunds out the door is one thing, but what happens when checks get lost in the mail or otherwise go uncashed? Each state has their own unclaimed property and escheatment rules, which are critical to maintain compliance. When sending paper checks, saying it is difficult to navigate unclaimed property is an understatement. With digital refunds, on the other hand, you know exactly when each refund is (or is not) accepted by the patient.

 

How Can Healthcare Providers Start Sending Digital Patient Refunds?

There are several options allowing healthcare providers to migrate to digital refunds, however, Right Refund™ is the exclusive, purpose-built solution for healthcare providers. Right Refund™ is not just a payment pushing software, it’s a complete refund service powered by revenue cycle professionals built to enhance patient experience and improve compliance. With Right Refund™ we manage escheatment on your behalf, following all state statutes to the letter. Schedule a Right Refund™ demo today!

Bret O'Connor
Bret O'Connor
CTO | Partner
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