How to Prevent Employee Embezzlement

February 6, 2012

Staff handle your checks and co-pays. Are you sure they aren't stealing from you? Don't chance it; manage it.

Fraud-staff stealing from the practice-is a near everyday occurrence in outpatient practice. Physicians put much too much faith in employees who handle everything from cash co-pays to check despoits to inventory ordering.  

One simple way to prevent fraud is to build in adequate separation of duties between your billing office and front desk staff. If the same person who collects the cash also is the one tracking it, they may be tempted to “borrow” a dollar or two. No one would ever find out.
 

Also watch out for staff who handle money but are never willing to take time off or temporarily pass their duties to someone else. They might just be diligent, or they might be hiding something. It is a business you are running, though, so it's OK to ask for some visibility and documentation of the processes.

Have you ever caught someone stealing in your practice? How do you protect yourself?