As Tracy Burch was stealing thousands of dollars from a local surgical office, countless other healthcare employees across the country were perpetrating smaller acts of fraud, and a few were engaged in much larger acts. Theft is a problem in every industry and particularly so during difficult economic times, when personal and financial stresses are often heightened.

Burch’s recent arrest and guilty plea are a reminder of the importance of effective internal controls. She stole more than $86,000 from Clifton Surgical over two years, sometimes stealing cash, other times by using the organization’s credit card for personal use.

Barnes Dennig’s Healthcare Client Service Team can review your internal controls to make sure your healthcare organization is healthy and strong enough to prevent a similar cancer from developing. Whether you have two employees or 200, it is important that you get regular checkups, because it is cheaper and more effective to prevent fraud than detect it.

There is no shortage of cautionary tales.

Barbara Rauen, a former executive with a local medical supplies distributor, pled guilty last year to stealing more than $300,000 from her employer. A few months prior, two area dentists were arrested and charged with tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the IRS.

More than 40 members of a suspected crime syndicate were arrested last fall and charged with stealing the identities of thousands of patients and physicians and submitting more than $100 million worth of false claims to Medicare. In Phoenix, Ariz., two people were recently arrested and charged with stealing the identities of 128 medical patients and falsely billing insurance companies for services worth more than $600,000.

For more information about a review of your controls, contact a Barnes Dennig representative at (513) 241-8313.

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