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3525 Prytania St, Suite 614 - New Orleans, LA 70115 - 504-891-8454

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"You have turned my life around"
 

I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

-Sidney Daigle


I want to thank you for your due diligence. You saved my life. I highly recommend you!

-Dwight Bastian


Thank you Dr. Baum! Because of you I'm back in the "rodeo"!

-Gerald Wallace

 


Implementing proper safeguards and internal controls are critical especially in smaller practices to protect against this ever-increasing risk of embezzlement. The following are some suggestions:

  • Divide and conquer. This is the easiest and perhaps the best method of preventing employee theft. No individual should t be allowed to both open the mail (i.e., initially handle the money) and post payment to the computer. Dividing the two duties prevents an employee from stealing money from the practice and then manipulating patients' accounts in the computer, usually by writing off balances as contractual adjustments or bad debts. If the same person is responsible for multiple duties, the natural check and balance of the system is removed. Giving a single person unquestioned authority of your finances is not a wise business practice.
  • Reconcile bank statements on a monthly basis. Bank statements can only flag discrepancies if they are reconciled on a timely basis. Segregating duties is also important in this area. Reconciliations should be performed by one person and reviewed by another. Also, the person who writes the checks should not have the authority to sign checks.
  • Disseminate a strong policy denouncing employee theft of any nature whatsoever and declaring the company's absolute intention to pursue any and all thefts, both criminally and civilly, to the fullest extent of the law.
  • All monthly bank statements should be sent to the physician or the physician's post office box. All bank statements should be given to the physician unopened. The physician should open the statements and carefully review them, questioning anything that is unfamiliar. Separate responsibilities so that the same employee does not receive money and deposit money, or the same employee does not handle payables and reconcile bank accounts, or the same employee does not prepare billings for customers/clients and record receivables.
  • Limit and monitor access to important documents and supplies such as securing blank check stocks and signature stamps.

Bottom Line: There will never be a guarantee that employee embezzlement, fraud, or similar actions will be caught. A practice can still minimize these activities by implementing and monitoring sound internal controls. It is our duty, as physicians, in charge of the practice to make certain that these controls are in place.