Providers love it when their patients pay in cash. There is no waiting weeks, or sometimes months, for an insurance company to decide that you actually get compensated for the services you provide. Cash is easy.
Unfortunately, it is also easy to steal. This post is regretfully inspired by one of our customers. I was thinking of calling this post “If You Don’t Have a Copay Log that You Check on a Daily Basis, You are Inviting Your Employees to Steal From You.” That was really too long, though.
Doctors, office managers, please, make sure you have some written way of balancing the cash in your hand to the cash you were supposed to have received. Yes, everyone in your office should be trustworthy, and many of them are your friends, and it is very hard to imagine a friend stealing from you. But large amounts of cash are tempting for anyone.
So, here’s how it works. Every patient who pays in cash gets a receipt. Every patient who pays with a check gets a receipt. And every patient who pays with a credit card gets a receipt. The receipts come from a numbered book. Then all patients who paid money are entered on a spreadsheet that includes the date, patient name, payment amount, method of payment, and receipt number. At the end of the day, you have the exact amount of cash in your hand that you have on that spreadsheet and every patient has a sequential receipt number so that you can see no receipts have been pocketed or disposed of.
This will not stop someone who is determined to steal from you. This will enable you to catch it quickly. One of our providers has lost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars because he did not take our advice to implement this simple procedure. And now he is facing the difficult decision of having to fire one of his friends.
Here is an example of a good Copay Log. One of my office managers has this on her computer, and she adds the patients as they check out.