Lying to Insurance Companies: The Desire to Deceive among Physicians and the Public

University of Pennsylvania, USA.
The American Journal of Bioethics (Impact Factor: 5.29). 02/2004; 4(4):53-9. DOI: 10.1080/15265160490518566
Source: PubMed


This study examines the public's and physicians' willingness to support deception of insurance companies in order to obtain necessary healthcare services and how this support varies based on perceptions of physicians' time pressures. Based on surveys of 700 prospective jurors and 1617 physicians, the public was more than twice as likely as physicians to sanction deception (26%versus 11%) and half as likely to believe that physicians have adequate time to appeal coverage decisions (22%versus 59%). The odds of public support for deception compared to that of physicians rose from 2.48 to 4.64 after controlling for differences in time perception. These findings highlight the ethical challenge facing physicians and patients in balancing patient advocacy with honesty in the setting of limited societal resources.

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    • "For example, studies in the USA showed that from 10% to about 40% of physicians reported manipulating reimbursement rules or their willingness to manipulate such rules to enable patients to receive the care that the physicians perceived as necessary [32]–[35]. More importantly, a large survey of prospective jurors and physicians in the USA showed that the public was more than twice as likely as physicians to allow deception that might benefit patients (26% versus 11%) [37],[38]. Further, it seems public support for deception (as compared to physicians) may have increased over time [36],[37]. "
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