Call/WhatsApp/Text: +44 20 3289 5183

Question: Pam Crawford is the vice president of the HMO of Millbridge. The organization bills and collects premiums...

10 Jul 2024,2:15 AM

1. Create management control systems.
2. Discuss the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its impact on the management of public service organizations (two provisions that apply to non-profit whistleblowers and destruction of docs).



Pam Crawford is the vice president of the HMO of Millbridge. The organization bills and collects premiums from employers for their employees who are enrolled as members of the HMO. In turn, it receives bills from hospitals and physicians for the care they have given to its members. Pam is in charge of optimizing the use of resources and safeguarding the resources of the HMO. She knows that if anything goes wrong (e.g., waste of resources, embezzlement), she will be held responsible. Therefore, she has called you in as an expert consultant in the area of accountability and control. Pam has asked you to recommend specific procedures and policies for enhancing the internal controls of the organization.


Write a one-page memo to Pam Crawford identifying policies and procedures that she should consider adopting at the HMO of Millbridge






Memo to Pam Crawford: Enhancing Internal Controls at the HMO of Millbridge


Pam Crawford, as the Vice President of the HMO of Millbridge, holds a crucial position responsible for ensuring the efficient use of resources and the safeguarding of the organization's assets. In light of the complexities involved in managing an HMO, especially with the stringent regulatory environment and potential risks such as resource wastage and embezzlement, it is imperative to establish robust management control systems. This memo outlines specific procedures and policies that can enhance internal controls, ensuring accountability and optimized resource utilization.

Creating Management Control Systems

Effective management control systems are essential for optimizing resource utilization and safeguarding assets in healthcare organizations. This section will provide a detailed analysis of the essential components of these systems and their application in the HMO of Millbridge.

Management Control Systems: An Overview

Management control systems (MCS) encompass a range of procedures and mechanisms designed to ensure that an organization's resources are used efficiently and its objectives are achieved. These systems include planning, performance measurement, and corrective actions. Implementing a comprehensive MCS within the HMO of Millbridge involves several critical components:

  1. Planning and Budgeting

    Effective planning and budgeting are foundational to any robust management control system, providing a clear roadmap for resource allocation and financial management.

    Proper planning and budgeting are essential to anticipate future needs, allocate resources appropriately, and monitor financial performance. The HMO should adopt a zero-based budgeting approach, which requires justifying all expenses for each new period, thus preventing unnecessary expenditures. Additionally, implementing a rolling forecast system can provide continuous updates and adjustments based on changing circumstances.

    For instance, the Mayo Clinic uses a comprehensive planning and budgeting process that involves input from various departments to create a realistic and flexible budget. This approach ensures that all resources are accounted for and utilized efficiently.

  2. Performance Measurement and Monitoring

    Regular performance measurement and monitoring are crucial for assessing the effectiveness of the implemented controls and identifying areas for improvement.

    Performance measurement involves setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks to evaluate the HMO's operational efficiency. This includes metrics such as claim processing times, patient satisfaction scores, and cost-per-patient ratios. Monitoring these KPIs regularly through a centralized dashboard can provide real-time insights into the HMO's performance.

    Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest HMOs in the U.S., utilizes an integrated performance measurement system that tracks various health outcomes and operational metrics, enabling timely interventions and continuous improvement.

  3. Internal Audits and Compliance Checks

    Conducting regular internal audits and compliance checks is essential for ensuring adherence to established policies and detecting any irregularities.

    Internal audits help verify the accuracy of financial records, assess the effectiveness of internal controls, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. The HMO should establish an independent internal audit department that reports directly to the board of directors to maintain objectivity.

    The Cleveland Clinic employs a robust internal audit function that performs regular audits across different departments, ensuring compliance with internal policies and external regulations.

  4. Risk Management and Fraud Prevention

    Implementing a comprehensive risk management and fraud prevention strategy is vital for safeguarding the HMO's assets and maintaining operational integrity.

    A risk management framework identifies potential risks, assesses their impact, and implements mitigation strategies. Additionally, fraud prevention measures such as segregation of duties, mandatory vacation policies, and whistleblower programs can help detect and prevent fraudulent activities.

    Johns Hopkins Medicine has a dedicated risk management team that regularly conducts risk assessments and implements preventive measures to mitigate potential threats.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Its Impact on Public Service Organizations

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) has significantly influenced the management practices of public service organizations, including HMOs. This section will discuss two specific provisions of SOX that are particularly relevant to non-profit whistleblowers and document destruction.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act: An Overview

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was enacted in response to major corporate scandals to enhance corporate governance and restore investor confidence. While initially targeted at publicly traded companies, its principles have been widely adopted by non-profit organizations, including HMOs, to improve accountability and transparency.

  1. Whistleblower Protection

    The whistleblower protection provision under SOX is crucial for encouraging employees to report misconduct without fear of retaliation.

    SOX Section 806 provides protection for employees of publicly traded companies who report fraudulent activities. This provision is equally important for non-profits and HMOs, as it ensures that employees can report unethical practices, such as billing fraud or embezzlement, without the fear of retaliation.

    The HMO of Millbridge can establish a confidential whistleblower hotline and a clear policy that protects whistleblowers from retaliation. This encourages employees to report any suspicious activities, thus aiding in early detection and prevention of fraud.

  2. Destruction of Documents

    The provision regarding the destruction of documents under SOX ensures the integrity and availability of critical records for auditing and regulatory purposes.

    SOX Section 802 makes it a criminal offense to alter, destroy, or falsify documents with the intent to impede an investigation. For HMOs, maintaining accurate and accessible records is crucial for audits and compliance with healthcare regulations.

    The HMO should implement a document management policy that includes regular audits of record-keeping practices, secure storage of sensitive documents, and clear guidelines on document retention and destruction.

Recommendations for Enhancing Internal Controls

To enhance internal controls at the HMO of Millbridge, it is essential to adopt comprehensive policies and procedures that encompass financial management, operational efficiency, risk management, and regulatory compliance.

Financial Management Controls

Implementing stringent financial management controls is vital for ensuring the accurate recording and reporting of financial transactions.

  1. Segregation of Duties: Separate responsibilities for financial transactions to prevent any single individual from having control over all aspects of a financial transaction.

    Assign different employees to handle billing, payments, and reconciliations to reduce the risk of fraud.

  2. Regular Reconciliations: Perform regular reconciliations of accounts to identify and resolve discrepancies promptly.

    Monthly reconciliations of bank statements and internal records can help detect errors or fraudulent activities early.

Operational Efficiency Controls

Enhancing operational efficiency controls ensures that the HMO's resources are utilized effectively and services are delivered promptly.

  1. Automated Billing Systems: Implement automated billing systems to reduce errors and improve efficiency in processing claims and payments.

    An electronic health record (EHR) system integrated with billing software can streamline the billing process and reduce administrative overhead.

  2. Performance Incentives: Introduce performance-based incentives for employees to encourage productivity and high-quality service delivery.

    Offering bonuses for achieving specific performance targets, such as reducing claim processing times, can motivate employees to perform better.

Risk Management and Compliance Controls

Establishing robust risk management and compliance controls is essential for mitigating potential risks and ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements.

  1. Regular Risk Assessments: Conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential threats and implement appropriate mitigation strategies.

    Annual risk assessments that evaluate the likelihood and impact of various risks, such as cyber threats or operational disruptions, can help the HMO prepare for and mitigate these risks.

  2. Compliance Training: Provide regular training sessions on compliance requirements and ethical conduct for all employees.

    Conducting mandatory annual training on healthcare regulations and the HMO's code of conduct ensures that employees are aware of their responsibilities and the importance of compliance.


In conclusion, establishing effective management control systems and adhering to the principles of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are crucial for the HMO of Millbridge to optimize resource utilization and safeguard its assets. By implementing comprehensive financial management, operational efficiency, risk management, and compliance controls, the HMO can enhance its internal controls, ensure accountability, and achieve its organizational objectives. These recommendations will not only help Pam Crawford in her role but also contribute to the overall integrity and success of the HMO of Millbridge.

Pam Crawford, as the Vice President of the HMO of Millbridge, has the responsibility to ensure efficient resource use and safeguard organizational assets. Establishing robust management control systems and adhering to Sarbanes-Oxley Act provisions will significantly enhance internal controls, accountability, and operational efficiency. The outlined recommendations provide a comprehensive approach to achieving these objectives, ensuring the HMO's long-term success and integrity.

Expert answer

This Question Hasn’t Been Answered Yet! Do You Want an Accurate, Detailed, and Original Model Answer for This Question?


Ask an expert


Stuck Looking For A Model Original Answer To This Or Any Other

Related Questions

What Clients Say About Us

WhatsApp us