AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 35

Check civil history. It provides you with an
understanding of how job candidates handle civil
disputes or conflict resolution.
5. Driver license violations. Continuous violations
could be a sign of a bigger problem.
6. Most importantly, credit checks. MGMA reports
that 76% of practices did not perform credit
checks. Employees who have trouble managing
their money may help themselves to yours! There
are some limitations to credit checks, but this
would provide a practice with valuable information about a potential employees' need for money
and risk of possible theft. Eleven states limit employers' use of credit information. As an example,
Illinois only allows credit checks for employees
who handle $250,000 throughout a year. Therefore, a billing employee, opticians, optical manager, and administrator might be the only employees
who fall into this category. Make sure to contact
your state department of labor before conducting
credit checks on potential employees.
The good news is that according to the Association
of Certified Fraud Examiners, 39.1% of occupational fraud is caught by tips from others, 16.5% from
internal audits, and 13.4% by management review
and several other various ways ranging from accidental
discovery to personal confessions.7 Prevention is key to
early detection.
4.

stressed employees, and also to those whose lifestyle
seems beyond their means. Observe and investigate
territorial behavior. When employees don't want to
train others on their job duties, they might be trying
to hide something. Often, perpetrators will take
advantage of being alone in the office, so make sure
you assign different employees to open and close
the office. We tend to reward loyal and dedicated
employees, but be wary of employees who never take
time off. Every employee should be required to take
at least one week of vacation annually.
Most importantly, trust your instincts. AE
NOTES
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners: Report to the Nations on
Occupational Fraud and Abuse 2016 Global Fraud Study. Retrieved
from http://www.acfe.com/rttn2016/docs/2016-report-to-thenations.pdf.
2,3,4,5,6
Medical Group Management Association: 2009 Medical
Practice Employee Theft and Embezzlement Findings. MGMA
Connection 2010.
1,7

Jill B. Maher, MA, COE (847-275-0504;
mahermedicalpractice@gmail.com), is
Principal Consultant of Maher Medical
Practice Consulting based in Chicago, Ill.

ONGOING PREVENTION
Start preventing theft by doing the following:
1. Screen job applicants thoroughly.
2. Assess high-risk areas: co-pays, mail receipts,
disbursements, patient refunds, payroll.
3. Segregate duties: The employee who opens the
mail should not be the same employee who posts
and deposits payments.
4. Conduct unscheduled audits: Create a perception
of detection by monitoring processes and testing
compliance. When employees know they are being
watched and monitored, they tend not to take the
risk of being caught.
5. Implement strong accounting controls with
proper checks/balances and consider an annual
outside audit.
6. Invest in software and monitoring equipment.
Indispensable employees often manipulate perceptions to appear that way. Pay attention to changes in
employees' behavior and be alert to disgruntled or

www.asoa.org // AE

35


http://www.acfe.com/rttn2016/docs/2016-report-to-the-nations.pdf http://www.acfe.com/rttn2016/docs/2016-report-to-the-nations.pdf http://www.asoa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4

AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover1
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover2
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 1
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 2
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AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover3
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover4
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