Today's Veterinary Business

AUG 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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8 Today's Veterinary Business Business Research shows that 75 percent of employees have engaged in some form of theft. In many cases, warn- ing signs like these are overlooked: • Declining profits. • Unexplained inventory shortages. • Accounting discrepancies. • Unusual employee behavior. When theft is identified, many veterinary practices fail to deal with it until they are faced with a negative financial impact, or worse, serious criminal activity. A Prime Target Veterinarians, as dispensers and prescribers of controlled substances, are a prime target for drug addicts. Veterinarians have access to a large variety of controlled and noncon- trolled substances. As America's opioid epidemic and addiction rates technician was charged with stealing 7,800 opioid pills and trying to cover her tracks by changing clinic records. • A woman was arrested on 20 counts of possession of controlled substances in con- nection with a theft from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. • A Wyoming veterinary recep- tionist was accused of steal- ing tramadol and fraudulently calling in prescriptions. These cases stand as a cau - tionary warning that no veterinary practice is exempt from internal theft. It can happen anywhere if preventive steps aren't taken. While stopping theft completely might be impossible, measures can be instituted to mitigate and deter illegal activity. All individuals at some point are confronted with the Eighth Commandment: Thou shall not steal. According to the FBI, employee theft, or "shrinkage," is the fastest-growing crime in the United States and is more prominent than identity theft, cyber fraud, credit card theft and internet scams. continue to soar, employee drug theft is a rising occupational hazard. The veterinary profession has become ripe for internal theft be- cause of minimal internal manage- ment of controlled substances, an often-lax approach to routine drug testing and background checks of new employees, and manual in- ventory practices. The environment has become so toxic that some em- ployees are willing to do whatever is needed to get their hands on controlled substances. Take, for instance, these local news blurbs: • A Florida veterinary techni- cian was arrested on suspi- cion of stealing controlled substances from two of the veterinary clinics where she was employed. • A Massachusetts veterinary By Jack Teitelman Business SECURITY DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS Don't assume your practice is immune to employee drug diversion. Failure to conduct background checks and take other preventive steps can invite a visit from authorities.

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