How to Spot Embezzlement in your Dental Practice

March 24, 2017
DMD Staff

Embezzlement can happen in any dental practice. Do you know how to spot it in yours? Pat Little, D.D.S., F.A.G.D., C.F.E., CEO and Founder of Dental Risk Concepts and Prosperident, outlines some key warning signs to help sniff out an embezzler in your practice. Step one is looking for cash-flow issues.

Embezzlement can happen in any dental practice. Do you know how to spot it in yours? Pat Little, D.D.S., F.A.G.D., C.F.E., CEO and Founder of Dental Risk Concepts and Prosperident, outlines some key warning signs to help sniff out an embezzler in your practice. Step one is looking for cash-flow issues.

Interview Transcript (Modified Slightly for Readability)

“Really the most common warning sign (of embezzlement) that we see is the dentist has cash-flow issues. My first embezzlement course that I presented was called ‘Working Harder But Earning Less,’ and that actually came from my very first client. He said, ‘Pat, I don’t know what’s going on. I’m producing more than I’ve ever produced, but I’m broke.’ That’s probably the number-one warning sign that hits the doctors when they finally can’t pay the bills. Or they’re getting calls from a vendor saying, what’s going on?

There are some other warning signs that might lead up to that. One thing that can happen sometimes is there’s a lot of staff dissention as well. The embezzler will intentionally sew dissention so that the embezzler is the only one not causing a problem in the office. That makes the doctor trust the embezzler even more.

But really, for most doctors, the number one warning sign is there either getting a lot of complaints or patients complaining about their incorrect statements, billing issues. Typically, most doctors really notice it when they start seeing their cash flow go down.”

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