Dentists: Would a Former Associate Steal Your Dental Patients? (video)

Dentists: Would a Former Associate Steal Your Dental Patients? (video)Dentists, do you think an ex-employee or associate would steal your dental patient lists?

In a survey conducted by the research firm Ponemon Institute, 59% of ex-employees admitted to stealing company data when leaving their prior employment.

Dental patients are a dentist’s most valuable resource, but competition can be so tough that some dentists have seen exiting dental employees steal their patient lists.

One dentist complained, “Every GP associate I’ve had has tried to steal patients. It’s like inviting someone into your home, then finding your silverware is missing after they leave.”

Another dentist said, “I’ve had employees try; the patients usually complain to me personally about the situation. Loyalty is rewarded.”

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have ever had problems with ‘patient stealing‘ by associate dentists or employees leaving their dental practice.

To hear how dentists responded, Click on Play —

What has been your experience with dental pateint stealing at your dental practice?

Dental Practice Management and Employee Theft (Video)

Dental Practice Management and Employee Theft (Video)Embezzlement and employee theft are major problems for dentists and dental practices.

In this survey, 59% of dentists said they had discovered evidence of embezzlement.

But that doesn’t mean no one has stolen from the remaining 41%… it just means they haven’t been able to prove an embezzlement took place.

Sadly, dentists are often embezzled.

“My office manager (of course) was setting aside dental insurance checks, then picking out cash that matched the amount of the checks,” said an orthodontist. “The checks were never deposited into the patients’ accounts, so the bank deposit balanced. She did this for almost 10 years, for a total of at least $700,000. Her litigation is currently pending. The insurance accounts past due eventually became overwhelming and she was finally caught.”

“A dental assistant who worked for another doctor who shared space with me was stealing my materials and making teeth bleaching trays out of her home after hours (and charging for tooth whitening!)” said another dentist.

To hear more of what dentists had to say about employee theft, Click on Play to watch the following video —

Have you experienced employee theft?

Read more about this dental management issue: Dentists - Has Your Dental Practice Been Embezzled?

Dentists Often Embezzled – Thieves Rarely Prosecuted

Dentists often embezzled, but thieves rarely sent to prisonDentist office embezzlement is a major issue at dental practices, but most dentists don’t even realize how widespread the problem of dental embezzlement is.

I’m a total cynic when it comes to dentists being embezzled. I’ve spent over 20 years uncovering over 100 thefts. I’m fully convinced that it happens all the time. (In fact, one of my surveys found that most dentists report being embezzled.)

The vast majority of embezzlement cases never go to trial. (And we’re not even talking about all the theft that is never even uncovered in the first place!) Usually, the offender is fired, and that’s it. If charges are filed, 9 out 10 times there will be a plea bargain which results in probation for a first-time offender.

Only on rare occasions do you see the dental embezzler fully prosecuted and taken through the court system. This only happens if the case has has been fully investigated, all the details uncovered, and everything tied up with a big bow by the doctor (and the the doctor’s attorney and private investigator) and handed to the district attorney for prosecution.

Recently, one such case resulted in a five-year prison sentence for the miscreant. The 25-year-old woman, a Texas dentist’s financial clerk, pleaded guilty. Here’s the news report:

U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle… sentenced [defendant Claire Batsell] to 69 months in federal prison on a count of fraudulent use of dental patient identification information and a count of aggravated identity theft.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Batsell used patient information to open and bill credit card accounts for services. In addition, she pocketed cash payments made by the patients…

Dentist DavidPedley was unaware of Batsell’s scheme and said her actions almost destroyed his practice and damaged his reputation…

In a statement before Tagle, Pedley said the thefts affected the credit of some of his patients and “imposed a huge financial burden on him and his family to pay back the credit card company for the fraudulent charges made by Batsell.”

– Laura B. Martinez, The Brownsville Herald

While it’s morally satisfying to see someone held accountable for their wrongdoing, I have to say: if it was just the doctor losing money, this case probably wouldn’t have been prosecuted. Identity theft is a hot consumer issue right now… while employees stealing from their dentist employer is somehow stale and commonplace.

View all our stories about dental practice embezzlement


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