Medical Practice Embezzlement | Medical Office Manager Embezzlement | Employee Theft
*The Atlanta, Georgia physician had a nauseating feeling in his stomach. He was rightfully concerned. He found out that a trusted employee was stealing from his practice. The physician heard whispers of medical practice embezzlement, but never considered the possibility it would happen to him. What was the damage, where to begin and who to call?
In matters of employee theft, physicians may pick up the phone and call an attorney. This is a reasonable option, although not all attorneys specialize in the area of embezzlement, labor employment issues and the likely HIPAA complexities that can come into play. Still, this can be a good starting point.
Some will call their CPA and ask for assistance. CPA’s may be unable or unwilling to make a house call, and may not understand how to begin with litigation in mind. Perhaps a forensic accountant who is highly specialized and compensated? But in cases of employee theft, the importance of a Certified Fraud Examiner with professional interviewing skills is invaluable.
The physician performs an internet search and finds an Atlanta Certified Fraud Examiner who specializes in cases of medical practice embezzlement. They respond like an emergency provider in the evenings and on the weekends.
The Certified Fraud Examiner has evangelized the importance of fraud prevention in the workplace, especially for the high risk medical and dental field. He offers fraud risk assessments so that hopefully, a practice owner can identify vulnerabilities and prevent embezzlement. The efforts peak some interest, but gaining the audience of physicians is difficult, and the call to action for embezzlement prevention largely goes unanswered. The examiner normally responds to fraud incidents after the fact, where the financial and emotional damage is severe. Even worse, he observes cases where the embezzlement matter is mishandled, and a perfect storm further victimizes the physician.
The fraud examiner reviews the case presented by the Atlanta physician and begins a profile work up on the employee theft suspect. The examiner performs a forensic interview on the employee, who eventually confesses to the embezzlement. Criminal charges are filed and law enforcement stated the examiner did their job for them. This cements the legal case in favor of the physician and saves significant time, money and other potential legal battles.
Most would not have turned to the internet for assistance during such a sensitive crisis, but the physician in this case is glad he did. Physicians rightfully promote good health habits and disease prevention. Consider medical practice embezzlement a disease which could destroy your practice. Take a pre-emptive step, let’s start a conversation, gain a trusted advisor and protect your livelihood.
Zane Kinney, CFE, PI
*Based on an actual event