Most insurance companies have up to 3 years to recover payments. If they paid on these patients and then later found they were not in fact eligible for the dates of service they recover the payments from the provider. Once payments are recovered you can then bill the patient as "coverage not in effect" and they are held financially responsible. In the meantime I would try to figure out if the patients had other insurance that was active for the dates of service.
The insurance company will not recover money from a patient as the patient was not paid. The money comes from the physician that was paid. Automatic recoveries are much less hassle and work than issuing a refund. Just my two cents.
Hope that helped.
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