There are several scenarios in which an office will credit a patient account. Usually negative Adjustment will account for the credit whether or not a refund occurs. Once an adjustment is put on an account, if there is a resulting negative balance, you can choose to either leave the account with a credit or refund actual payment by cash, check or credit card.
A credit to the account means you remove a portion of the patient's balance by adding a negative adjustment. Credits occur for the following scenarios:
If a patient ends up with a negative account balance after a negative adjustment is entered as shown above, the patient may decide to keep the credit on the account or you may process a refund (negative Payment Allocation). Refunds only apply to procedures or goods the patient has already paid for. You would be returning money to a patient with the original payment type.
To process a return on a credit card, see Credit Card Return. ACH transactions cannot be refunded back to the original account.
Scenario 1: Your patient purchased a product that they want to return.
Scenario 2: Your patient received a filling that fell out, so it needs to be redone. This is called a warranty credit. You aren't going to return money to the patient, but you will add a negative adjustment to account for the warranty when you chart the replacement procedure.
Scenario 3: A patient has a crown break soon after treatment, but has since moved out of state. They already paid for the crown so their current account balance is $0.