February 2019 Client Newsletter
How to Prevent Embezzlement in Your Practice
The easy answer is to only hire trustworthy people, right? True, but then in order to keep employees honest it is necessary to provide the right environment so honest employees stay honest.
Embezzlement is most often carried out in the form of funds theft & check fraud, but can also be by credit card, property theft, padded expenses, etc.
What are the signs of employee embezzlement?
- Living beyond their means (41%).
- Financial difficulties (29%)
- Unusually close relationship with patients/vendors (20%)
- Not willing to share job duties (15%)
- Divorce or family issues (14%)
In a medical practice where cash, checks, debit/credit cards or other electronic methods are used to pay, a simple division of duties is quite effective:
- The front desk person accepts payments and documents either in the EHR or practice management software, or on a paper charge form the amount & form of payment.
- The front desk prepares a detailed list of all payments each day separated by cash/checks vs. credit/debit cards and totals each of the amounts.
- The Office Manager then verifies all payments on the list with the appointments list and by matching each account in the EHR, practice management software, or paper charge form. They MUST match exactly.
- The cash & checks then are added to a bank deposit ticket.
- The electronic payments must be verified on the appropriate bank or electronic deposit statement.
- Then when billing enters the charges, they balance back to the original list each day. If there is a discrepancy which cannot be explained, that can be the first indication of a problem.
No single employee would control the process from start to finish.
If you have concerns in your practice, feel free to call Rich to discuss.