Real World of Ophthalmology

Real World of Ophthalmology

Source:

Goel R. Avoiding embezzlement. Presented at: Real World Ophthalmology; April 2, 2022 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Goel reports no relevant financial disclosures.
April 12, 2022
1 min read
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Protect your practice: Prevent, detect, deter embezzlement

Source:

Goel R. Avoiding embezzlement. Presented at: Real World Ophthalmology; April 2, 2022 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Goel reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Owners must stay vigilant about protecting their practice from embezzlement and have a good policy in place to detect, deter and prevent it, according to one presenter.

“We need to create good financial controls and monitor them closely,” Ravi Goel, MD, said at Real World Ophthalmology.

Ravi Goel

In his book Through My Eyes, Charles Kelman, MD, devoted a chapter to embezzlement. When he was doing his initial studies on phacoemulsification and experimenting with the technique on lost eyes with no light perception, he was the victim of embezzlement. He fired the employee, who then reported him to the board of medical examiners for unethical surgery, Goel said.

Embezzlement can take several forms, from pocketing the cash received from patients’ copays to not accounting for vacations, from ordering extra products and taking them home to submitting false bills.

Goel recommended watching out for what he called “employee theft red flags.”

“These include disorganized accounting processes, gaps in accounting records, closed claims without payment, patients who complain that they made payment but it was not posted, employees with unusual hours, or employees who don’t take vacations,” he said.