Different states and employers have different regulations and policies regarding healthcare employees handling clients’ money. If you are not allowed to handle money, never agree to do so.
- Never use a client’s money for your own needs, even if you plan to pay it back. This is considered stealing and you could lose your job and /or be arrested.
- Estimate the amount of money you will need before requesting it. If you are making a trip to the grocery store, show the client your list and ask how much he or she is willing to spend on groceries, or how much is budgeted. You may need to take things off your list or estimate the total bill as you go a long in the store to stay within the money allotted. Taking a calculator to the grocery store helps you to stay within the client’s budget.
- Take checks rather than cash, when possible. Have the client or family member fill out the name of the store. A signed check that is not made out is as good as cash. If you lose cash or a signed bank check, you may be responsible for paying back the amount.
- Get a receipt for every purchase. This proves how much you spent and provides a record for you and the client.
- Return receipts and change to client or family member immediately. Don’t wait until end of the day or week to settle up. Do it right away while everything is fresh in your mind. Forgetting to return change could be viewed by the client or a family member as stealing.
- Keep a record of money you’ve spent. Write down how much you spent and where. Note any change returned to client. The better record you have, the smaller the chance of any misunderstanding.
- Keep a client’s cash separate from yours. If you must use the client’s cash, don’t put it in your own wallet. Keep it in a separate, safe place. Do the same with change. This will prevent confusion.
- Never offer money advice to a client. You should not even refer a client to others regarding their financial matters.
- Remember that a clients’ financial matters are private. Never discuss a clients’ money matters with anyone.