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Safeguard Your Practice from Fraud

29/09/2016


​​​H​ealth practitioners in North America are routinely defrauded and MNP’s Forensics Services team is frequently approached to investigate suspicions of fraudulent behaviour in clinics and small practices. More often than not, however, a fraud comes to light that leaves the clinic owners baffled and frightened because they did not even suspect it. What is important for health practitioners to realize is that not only are you defrauded more often than other small businesses; you are in fact, targeted for fraud.

You should take steps to defend yourself against these crimes, particularly in today’s economic circumstances.  We often see what we call “serial defrauders”. Frequently, these are office administrative personnel who move from practice to practice, defrauding each in turn.

To gauge the effectiveness of your fraud prevention systems, think about whether you can answer ‘yes’ to each of the following 10 statements:

  1. ​​I have created an internal culture that is intolerant to fraud or financial abuse.
  2. I have policies and procedures designed to prevent and detect fraud, and all my employees are aware of them and I practice what I preach.
  3. I have appropriately segregated duties in my clinic to reduce the risk of fraud.
  4. Accounting reconciliations are prepared monthly and are reviewed by an individual independent of the reconciliation process.
  5. I know the history and circumstances of my employees and I require them to take regular vacations.
  6. Banking activities cannot be performed without my oversight.
  7. I manage and track inventories, particularly of items with a secondary resale market.
  8. I have software controls in place which leave an audit trail and track user access to financial data and online banking.
  9. I know what my financial results should look like and I monitor bank accounts and financial reports regularly.
  10. My patient management software system is monitored for unusual transactions:  deletions, corrections, reversals, and fee overrides.

If you cannot answer ‘yes’ to at least 6 of the above 10 statements, you should consider integrating additional fraud risk management procedures in your practice to protect your bottom line.

You may also be interested in these articles:

The Sale of Intangibles - T​ax Planning Opportunities for Professionals 
Protect Your Practice - Cyber Security Growing Concern for Health Care Professionals
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Lisa Majeau Gordon, CA, CPA, CA∙IFA, CFE, CFI, CICA, CFF is a Partner in MNP’s Valuation, Forensics and Litigation Support Services group and Leader for Forensics in Edmonton and Northern regions. She can be reached at 780.451.4406 or [email protected]