Prosperident Pulse #107 June 2021

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June 2021

Webinars
Did you know that Prosperident puts on a free webinar every month?
The theme for our Spring webinars is How to Outsmart Embezzlers.
Our next webinar takes place on June 24 at 8:00 pm Eastern / 5:00 Pacific, titled Slam the Door Shut on Embezzlers.
Free registration is available HERE, and PACE CE is offered.
We’d love to speak at your event!
We are excited to be back to live speaking.
We have great titles like “How to Outsmart the Thief in Your Practice.”
If you would like to book a speaker for your event, please give us a call or use THIS LINK.
Here are some of the places you can see us soon:
May 27
Canadian Association of Orthodontists
Webinar
Jun 11 Atlantic Virtual Dental Conference Halifax NS
Sep 9 Smile Source Exchange Las Vegas NV
Sep 16 Seattle Study Club Austin TX
Sep 25 Canadian Association of Dental Consultants Toronto ON
Oct 19 Compre-hensive Care Club Port Huron MI
2022

Feb 26 Chicago Midwinter Meeting Chicago IL
Mar 8 Dr. Graham Jones Study Club Monroe WA
May 6 Ontario Dental Association Toronto ON
Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them HERE.
All of us at Prosperident (including our CEO who is a veteran) wish everyone a happy Memorial Day weekend, and we thank all veterans for their service.

Why Virtual Credit Cards are a Bad Idea
Some insurance companies make payments to practices by creating a virtual credit card with a credit balance and then providing the card number. The practice can then enter the credit card number into their merchant terminal and receive payment.
Many dentists have reported that this arrangement was put in place without their consent and that opting out was not presented to them as an option. Insurance companies favor this arrangement because it is more efficient than issuing checks or arranging ACH payments.
There are several disadvantages to allowing an insurance company to pay you in this way.
Something to Talk About…
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I did my first dental embezzlement investigation in 1989.

Dentistry was much simpler then. The practice that I investigated worked on “pegboard” because practice management software was still years from being available. The practice did not accept credit cards – payment was by cash or check, and electronic funds transfers did not exist.

HIPAA was seven years away from becoming law, and OSHA was just beginning to turn its attention to dentistry. PPO was a term that dentists were hearing for the first time, and autoclaves were replacing boiling water for sterilization.

A lot has changed since 1989. Dentistry is safer, more comfortable, and more convenient for patients. The profession’s ability to deliver natural-looking restorations and even improve someone’s appearance has advanced beyond what most would have dreamed in 1989.

But paralleling these advances were increases in complexity in all the areas that I mentioned. And many dentists, for whom the ownership of a practice was already an unwelcome burden, have become overwhelmed with the duality of generating high-volume, high-quality clinical output while also managing a complex business entity.

From the unique perch from which I observe dentistry, I see some dentists who thrive in this stressful environment and others who become overwhelmed.

What can an overburdened dentist do to make their professional life manageable? Fortunately, there are some good options.

Our webinar series, which began over a year ago, tackles issues that many dentists find vexing, demystifies them, and provides guidance on navigating these areas. You can access all our past webinars HERE.

For those dentists with an intense dislike for being business owners, affiliating with a DSO may provide the ability to be a “pure dentist” and completely offload business responsibilities,in a financially rewarding manner.

Finally, if you want some personalized help with taming the business elements of your practice, we are happy to assist. I am happy to speak with any practice owner who wants to discuss their options for making practice ownership less onerous. If this is a discussion you are interested in, please book a time HERE.

For the past 32 years, we have been on your “team” and invested in your success. If we can help you, please feel free to reach out.


Yours truly,

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David Harris
We are Prosperident, Dentistry’s Embezzlement Experts
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Prosperident Webinar May 2021 – Master Your Practice’s Finances

Join your Prosperident hosts Amber Weber, Wendy Askins, and David Harris as they discuss the ins and outs of your practice’s finances.

If you want to check out other webinars that we have done, they are all available here – https://www.prosperident.com/prosperident-webinar-series/. Or if you prefer to receive content in podcast format, Prosperident’s The Dental Practice Owner’s Podcast is now available on Spotify, TuneIn and iHeart Radio. You can subscribe using one of the buttons below.

The Danger of Virtual Credit Cards

Some insurance companies make payments to practices by creating a virtual credit card with a credit balance and then providing the card number. The practice can then enter the credit card number into their merchant terminal and receive payment.

Many dentists have reported that this arrangement was put in place without their consent and that opting out was not presented to them as an option.[1] Insurance companies favor this arrangement because it is more efficient for them than issuing checks or arranging ACH payments.

There are several disadvantages to allowing an insurance company to pay you in this way. First, when you process the payment through your merchant terminal, it is treated like any other credit card payment, and a processing fee of a couple of percentage points gets applied. This cost can be particularly galling in a PPO arrangement where you are already receiving reduced fees. While most dentists will swallow merchant account fees to provide added convenience to patients making payments, I’m not sure that paying these fees for a huge insurance company’s convenience has the same appeal.

Second, many front desk staff struggle with how to enter this type of payment correctly into practice management software. Is it a credit card payment or an insurance payment? Unless a practice has a clear policy (and perhaps a separate payment code for these payments), it is entirely possible that different staff members in the same practice will take different approaches to recording these payments, causing a distortion in financial reporting.

And finally, there are many possibilities for a larcenous staff member to abuse this payment system.  Use of these cards is not limited to a specific merchant terminal, so it doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up abuse.

Even though individual insurance companies may not present this as an option, most states have passed laws preventing insurance companies from forcing you to accept payment via stored-value credit cards. If you are currently receiving payment in this manner, contact the insurance companies involved and opt out.


[1] See a discussion of one dentist’s experience at Dentists can opt out of credit card reimbursement from third-party payers, ADA News, October 2018, https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2018-archive/october/dentists-can-opt-out-of-credit-card-reimbursement-from-third-party-payers

Virginia Woman Indicted for Six Counts of Embezzlement

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Jenelle Cook-Cash

WAYNESBORO — Police arrested a Greenville woman earlier this week after she was accused of ripping off a Waynesboro dental practice of nearly $40,000, according to police.

Court records indicate the victim was Dr. Angel Ray, who has an office on Chicurel Lane in Waynesboro.

The Waynesboro Police Department began investigating in October after an employee at the office alerted authorities to a possible string of thefts following a records audit, Capt. David Shaw said.

The captain said the suspect, who used to work at the office, is accused of stealing payments from patients. Shaw said the alleged thefts began in 2017 and reportedly continued into 2020.

All told, more than $38,000 was taken from the dental practice, Shaw said.

On Monday, the Waynesboro grand jury indicted Jenelle Cook-Cash, 35, of Greenville, on six felony counts of embezzlement.

Police arrested Cook-Cash on Tuesday following the indictments. She posted a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, Shaw said, and is awaiting trial in Waynesboro Circuit Court.

A trial date has not been set.

Content retrieved from https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/local/2021/05/14/suspect-embezzlement-case-indicted-augusta-county/5071616001/