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Dishonesty in healthcare practice: A behavioral experiment on upcoding in neonatology

Heike Hennig-Schmidt (), Hendrik Jürges and Daniel Wiesen ()
Additional contact information
Heike Hennig-Schmidt: Department of Health Management and Health Economics, Postal: HERO / Department of Health Management and Health Economics, P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway
Hendrik Jürges: Schumpeter School of Business and Economics, Postal: Schumpeter School of Business and Economics, University of Wuppertal, Germany

No 2018:3, HERO Online Working Paper Series from University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme

Abstract: We introduce a controlled behavioral experiment framed in a neonatal care context to analyze the effect of introducing a random audit and fines on individuals' honesty in a simple reporting task. Our behavioral data provide new evidence on dishonesty and upcoding in health care. We find that introducing audits combined with a fine significantly reduces dishonesty on aggregate. The effect is driven by a significant reduction in upcoding. At the same time, dishonest choices that cannot be detected as fraudulent by an audit (partial dishonesty) increase. We also find evidence that individual characteristics such as gender, medical background, and integrity are related to dishonest behavior.

Keywords: Dishonesty; audits and fines; neonatology; medically framed experiment; reporting of birth weights (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 I11 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-hea
Date: 2018-04-04
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:oslohe:2018_003

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