Rx for Fraud

Medical businesses' unique conditions double the vulnerability

A typical medical practice operates with controlled chaos, generous trust of staff and two separate financial accounting software programs — all breeding circumstances for fraud. Here’s how to identify internal fraudsters’ schemes and apply remedies (even if you don’t work at a medical practice).

Mary was an excellent office manager for medical practices except she had a secret — she was a serial embezzler. Early in her career, she’d learned how to improperly remove funds from medical practice billing programs through various techniques. She’d ripped off three other practices before she began to work at yet another because she’d gotten so good at fooling doctors. And now she was doing it again. But she wasn’t too worried. She’d already learned with the previous practices that if the physicians caught her, they’d just fire her to save face, and then she’d move on to her next victim.

For several reasons, medical office practices are sitting ducks for employee embezzlement, and most practice owners don’t realize it.

Chaos can reign

As you wait for your appointment, you’ve seen how busy your doctor’s office can be, especially when an emergency patient arrives. Physicians notoriously overbook their schedules because of numerous no-shows, so when everyone does make it in, staff and physicians can be overwhelmed. Fraud loves to breed in exhausting pandemonium.

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