Your Refund Process Can Be Very Costly

Posted by Dawn Lunde on Tue, Feb 05, 2013 @ 06:07 PM

With today’s waning use of checks and cash, it is no surprise that Secure Bill Pay clients have over 85% of all patient pay made by credit/debit card. However, when surveyed, most clients indicated their patient refund policy is to cut manual checks. Did you know that is against merchant account rules? “Visa does not permit cash refunds for any credit or debit card transaction. By issuing credits, you protect your customers from individuals who might fraudulently make a purchase on their Visa account and then return the merchandise for cash.” (from Card Acceptance Guidelines for Visa Merchants) 

Also, it can be costing you over $20 per instance for each refund check. According to the Aberdeen Group, the average cost to process an check manually is $20.39 when labor and handling costs are factored in versus $11.92 (40% savings) if it is processed electronically.

healthcare refund process

Inherent with manual refund checks is a host of problems:

  • Slow process for staff and patients
  • Patient confusion
  • Messy payables system full of one-time ‘vendors’
  • Internal communication and reconciliation issues between AR and AP
  • Potential for fraud, bounce-backs due to bad address, un-cashed checks and more 

So, why continue with an inefficient system? Instead, re-visit your patient refund process and utilize the Quick Credit and Credit features within Secure Bill Pay to issue a secure, timely electronic refund direct to the credit/debit card or bank account. Not only will you save time and money, but you will be gaining a robust audit trail and a positive customer service experience for your patients. Not to mention, you'll be following merchant guidelines.

To current clients: If you have questions about how to achieve this efficiency, please contact Secure Bill Pay Support.

To prospective clients: If your system does not currently allow for a streamlined electronic refund process, contact Secure Bill Pay to learn more.

Tags: Patient Payments, patient pay, healthcare revenue cycle management process

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    Large Integrated Health System
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