In this article, we discuss patient credits, including reporting on patient credits and viewing patient credits in Unassigned Payments. We'll also cover how to post a refund for patient credits, move patient payments between accounts, and some common refund corrections.
Patient credits appear on the patient’s account throughout the episode of care, and the credit balance will change as money is moved from unassigned payments to cover dates of service. It’s important to note that just because you have a patient credit in unassigned balances, that doesn’t mean you need to issue a patient refund.
Typically, patient refunds are only issued once all dates of service have been paid by insurance.
Patient Credit Reports
There are a few reports where you can see patient credits.
- Credit Balances: This report is the report we recommend using to identify patients with a credit balance. Filter by Insurance = 0.00, and click on the patient ID to open their record before navigating to Unassigned Payments.
- Patient Credits Report: While this report does show the patient credit and the remaining balance, it can be misleading because it simply catalogs the amounts that were assigned from unassigned payments. The remaining balance is not necessarily a patient credit, it could be money that is waiting to be applied to charges still open to insurances.
- Patient Balances: This report shows any patient with a balance, but doesn’t provide insight into pending charges (the overall balance of the account).
View Patient Credits
You can view patient credits on the Unassigned Payments page. Patient credits are automatically generated when a patient payment is collected. Note: This money will sit in patient credits as an unassigned balance until allocated to the correct date of service based on the system rules.
To view credits (patient payments) taken in a closed month, use the View drop-down to select Non-Editable.
Patient refunds are generated when a patient overpays their account balance and has no pending dates of service. These overpayments appear as a credit on the patient account. You can issue refunds from the Unassigned Payments page. Note: You can only create a refund if there is a credit on a patient’s account.
Issuing a Refund
- From the Payments menu and select Unassigned Payments.
Note: If you do not already have a patient account selected, you will be prompted to choose one.
- Patient Credits are listed at the bottom of the page. You may need to use the View drop-down and select Non-editable charges to view all credits related to a closed month. Note: If there are no credit lines listed, you cannot issue a refund until the credit has been created.
- Confirm the balance to be refunded.
- Enter the Deposit Date.
- In the Additional Payments section, add the patient refund.
- Transaction Type: Select PATIENT REFUND
- Payment Code: Select REFUND PATIENT
- Insurance Code: Select 0 - Patient
- Amount: Enter the refund amount as a negative number
- Once the information is entered, click Add.
- The credit appears in the Patient Credits section.
Moving Payment to Another Patient Account
You can also use the same Transaction Type and Payment Code when moving patient payments to another account. For example, if the copay was accidentally posted to the parent’s account when it belongs in the child’s, you would refund the parent and post the credit in the child’s account.
- Locate the payment you need to refund.
- Enter the deposit date (this date can be today’s date) and complete the refund (as shown above).
- Then, open the patient’s account where the credit should have been posted initially and create a new payment.
- Deposit Date: This date should be the same Deposit Date as the original incorrect credit.
- Transaction Type: Mirror the original transaction type, i.e. Deductible.
- Payment Code: Mirror the original payment code, i.e. PATIENT PD IN OFFICE.
- Insurance: Choose the correct insurance.
- Amount: Enter the same amount of the original payment
Refunds in an Open Month
If you mistakenly create a patient refund, you can delete it as long as it’s not tied to a closed month and the money will automatically move back into unassigned payments.
Refunds (Closed Month)
If you issue a refund incorrectly and it’s tied to a closed month, or if you issued a refund larger than the credit, navigate to Error Corrections. On the Error Corrections page, you’ll need to transfer the patient payment back to unassigned payments prior to posting the correct refund.