Is There a Thief in Your Practice?

Mark Crane

Disclosures

January 24, 2013

In This Article

Preventing Embezzlement: Safeguards

The best way to protect against embezzlement is to make sure it doesn't happen. Practice management experts say that physicians should set systems in place from the beginning so that those processes become second nature.

Keith C. Borglum, a healthcare consultant from Santa Rosa, California, advises physicians to ask these questions about office and payment systems:

Systems

• Are employees required to rotate duties and responsibilities when possible?

• Are "write-offs" and adjustments reviewed by the doctor monthly?

• Can the insurance processing be easily observed by the doctor or administrator?

• Is the physical insurance processing system adequate?

• Is it used diligently?

Past-Due Collections

• Are accounts sent to the collection agency monthly?

• Are accounts in internal collection contacted at least monthly?

• Does a doctor approve all accounts referred to a collection agency?

• Are accounts sent to a collection agency within 90 days of nonpayment?

• Are accounts that are referred to a collection agency written off the accounts receivable?

• Does your collection agency offer a precollection service?

• Is your collection agency doing an adequate job?

Fees

• Are fees set using an RBRVS protocol?

• Are downcoding and denials routinely appealed?

• Are patient bills easy to read and understand?

• Do doctors resist arbitrary fee reductions to patients?

Accounts Payable and Miscellaneous

Do you have your CPA or an outside person perform periodic reviews?

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