By Laurel Petriello
Building a successful orthodontic practice is no small feat. It takes unwavering commitment, good marketing skills, smart business sense, and a dedicated support staff. Turning a profit is key to the future of any fee-for-service practice, and maintaining an influx of referrals should leave any practitioner resting easy.
David Harris, CEO of Prosperident dental embezzlement experts, argues that being on top may have its challenges, too. According to Harris, three in five dentists will be the victims of embezzlement at some point in their careers, and those who remain present in their operations stand a better chance of intercepting fraud before it begins.
“Embezzlement is not a crime of opportunity,” Harris says. “It happens when a staff member believes they have a stronger right to the doctor’s money than the doctor. We see a lot of intricate planning in this field, as well as very bright people embezzling.”
And with no rhyme or reason as to which practices will be affected or which will not, Harris says fraud has far more to do with the staff than the office. He breaks down the pattern of thieves into two categories: “the needy and the greedy.”
“The ‘needy’ have their backs against the wall financially, and something happening in their lives is threatening their basic needs,” he states. “Under pressure, ethics become situational.”