Case Study: Duplicate Payment Identification

Client Snapshot
Region Southeast
Headquarters Florida
Employees 1057
Beds 335
Patient Revenue $1.4 Billion

Duplicate Payments:
Payments to a vendor made more than once for the same transaction or invoice are called duplicate payments. This can occur due to various reasons, such as technical glitches, human error, or system issues. Duplicate payments can lead to financial discrepancies and pose challenges for both businesses and individuals.

problem

A multi-billion dollar regional healthcare system recently switched from one ERP system to another. The new system allowed too many people to enter invoices which left the process vulnerable to errors. Without a singular policy for entering invoices or process controls to catch errors, multiple invoices were entered more than once which resulted in duplicate payments to multiple vendors. Duplicate vendor payment identification and rectification is key to recovering lost funds and preventing future occurrences of duplicate payments.

results

Our team worked remotely, significantly reducing the impact on the AP department’s daily workflow, to analyze the accounting data uploaded to our servers. We also accessed the client’s imaging system to review copies of all vendor invoices.

During the duplicate payment exception report analysis portion of the full-scale accounts payable recovery audit, we conducted a thorough root cause analysis to identify any systemic issues, process gaps, or human errors contributing to the problem. Our auditors uncovered data entry errors including multiple vendor names for the same supplier, missing digits in the invoice numbers, swapping zeros for the letter “O”, and using a dash or asterisk when there were no special characters used on the original invoice.

Using our proprietary software, our auditors ran an exception report to analyze all invoices to identify each instance of duplicate payments. The duplicate payments uncovered during this process were flagged due to patterns such as identical PO and invoice numbers, invoice dates, and invoice amounts for individual vendors. Establishing matching criteria to identify potential duplicates enabled our team to clearly identify instances where the same payment was made more than once.

In our final audit report, we recommended the client:

  • Scrub the master vendor list for duplicate vendor entries
  • Remove names of acquired companies so only the parent vendor entity was used when loading an invoice
  • Institute an invoice processing system with clear guidelines on using leading zeros and handling non-numeric characters so invoice processing is consistent

 

Working directly with each of our client’s vendors, PCR was able to recover over $2,700 per staffed bed in total amount recovered that would otherwise have been lost.

benefits of working with pcr

  1. Premier Cost Recovery helped the regional healthcare client recover more than $2,700 per staffed bed in total recovered amount.
  2. The client received a clear and easy-to-follow roadmap with corrective measures and process improvement to implement to prevent future occurrences of duplicate payments.
  3. The client did not have to allocate any staff hours to research and recover the duplicate payment funds.

By conducting a thorough duplicate payment identification analysis within an accounts payable recovery audit, healthcare organizations can recover overpaid funds, enhance financial accuracy, and strengthen their payment processes to prevent future errors.

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