Dishonesty in Healthcare Practice: A Behavioral Experiment on Upcoding in Neonatology

33 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2018

See all articles by Heike Hennig‐Schmidt

Heike Hennig‐Schmidt

University of Bonn - Laboratory for Experimental Economics

Hendrik Jürges

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA); German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Daniel Wiesen

University of Cologne - Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences

Date Written: March 27, 2018

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

JEL Classification: D03, I11, I18

Suggested Citation

Henning-Schmidt, Heike and Jürges, Hendrik and Wiesen, Daniel, Dishonesty in Healthcare Practice: A Behavioral Experiment on Upcoding in Neonatology (March 27, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3152298 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3152298

Heike Henning-Schmidt

University of Bonn - Laboratory for Experimental Economics ( email )

Adenauerallee 24-42
Bonn, 53113
Germany

Hendrik Jürges

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Daniel Wiesen (Contact Author)

University of Cologne - Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, D-50923
Germany

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