Ark. doctor pleads not guilty to embezzlement

It can be particularly difficult to guard against financial abuses by people in positions of authority. Doctors often assume such a role, and while the trust given to physicians is by and large warranted, medical practitioners do occasionally take advantage of that confidence. A recent case reminds administrators in the health field that audit solutions are essential, especially when doctors are tasked with managing finances.

In November, Ozarks First reported that Ruben Tejada, a 54-year-old medical doctor based in Rogers, Ark., had been accused by his former employer, Northwest Health System, of abusing his financial responsibilities at the organization and embezzling more than $27,000 in funds belonging to the medical center.

Just over a month later, Tejada pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing, according to 5 News. The probable cause affidavit alleged that the doctor had stolen money from direct-bill patients and instructed employees to maintain two sets of books.

The comments given by the medical center administration were minimal.

"He has not worked in our organization since August, and we have cooperated with the authorities in their investigation of this matter," said Northwest Health System spokesperson Patricia Driscoll, according to 5 News. One hopes that in light of the incident, AP audits will become a regular occurrence at the clinic.

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