Healthcare Practice Strategies - Winter 2016 - Preventing Fraud at the Front Desk
As patient financial responsibility increases, so does the flow of cash through your practice. Be sure to have some cash controls in place to properly handle copayments, coinsurance and unmet deductibles. These controls may include:
Log – Have your front desk team issue a receipt to every patient, every time – including those who pay by credit card. End-of-day procedures should include matching all receipts to the daily patient log.
Close – Close out the practice credit card machine daily and have a manager approve any refunds or voids to prevent a dishonest employee from making an adjustment to his or her personal account.
Reconcile – Reconcile the cash drawer to practice records at the end of each shift.
Segregate – Clearly divide cash handling duties so that the person who reconciles the cash drawer is not the same one posting the charges and payments and taking the money to the bank.
Automate – Utilize electronic banking services where possible, such as your bank’s remote deposit service. This allows front desk staff to scan patient checks, which are then immediately processed.
Lock – Try to minimize the amount of cash that’s held overnight, and always lock cash (including credit card numbers) in a secure location. Provide combinations and passwords only to select employees and keep careful track of them.
Audit – It’s not necessary to monitor every transaction, but you should randomly review your staff’s work – and let them know you are doing so. In particular, review high-risk areas such as copays, mail, disbursements and patient refunds.
Review – Arrange for bank statements to be delivered to the home of one of the physician owners, or have an owner review them online.
Establishing good cash management practices is a vital defense against theft and fraud. Contact our office today for help.
Healthcare Practice Strategies - Winter 2016