Someone in Your Office is Stealing from You!!

With a suffering economy and massive layoffs, embezzlement is on the rise and doctors are a major target. Why are doctors so vulnerable and what can be don…

With a suffering economy and massive layoffs, embezzlement is on the rise and doctors are a major target.  Why are doctors so vulnerable and what can be done to lessen their risk?  First, doctors are busy and they don’t have time to closely watch the administration of the office.  Secondly, for some reason, doctors tend to give under-qualified staff too much responsibility.  They either underestimate the complexity of running a healthcare practice or they just don’t want to pay for the level of expertise it requires.  Because of this, the necessary systems to professionally manage an office and reduce the risk of fraud generally are not in place.  Thirdly, even when a problem is suspected, many doctors want to ignore it, hoping that the problem just goes away.  We recently worked with a doctor where it became clear that a long-time employee was stealing cash from the practice.  Because he feared that he wouldn’t have anyone to run his office if he fired the employee, he refused to confront her and just changed where he kept the cash.  Here’s a couple of recommendations to lower your risk of becoming a victim: First, realize that your running a business.  Healthcare is 16% of the U.S. economy…it is BIG business.  Also, the facts that even your best employee can turn on you if times get tough in their life.  Don’t be naive.  Lastly, put systems in place to prevent stealing and fraud.  Professional accounting systems have been designed for this purpose.  They are not costly to implement and are a must for even the smallest of healthcare practices.

HNA-NET