Fourteen years of manifestations and factors of health insurance fraud, 2006–2020: a scoping review

José Villegas-Ortega, Luciana Bellido-Boza, David Mauricio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Healthcare fraud entails great financial and human losses; however, there is no consensus regarding its definition, nor is there an inventory of its manifestations and factors. The objective is to identify the definition, manifestations and factors that influence health insurance fraud (HIF). Methods: A scoping review on health insurance fraud published between 2006 and 2020 was conducted in ACM, EconPapers, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Springer and WoS. Results: Sixty-seven studies were included, from which we identified 6 definitions, 22 manifestations (13 by the medical provider, 7 by the beneficiary and, 2 by the insurance company) and 47 factors (6 macroenvironmental, 15 mesoenvironmental, 20 microenvironmental, and 6 combined) associated with health insurance fraud. We recognized the elements of fraud and its dependence on the legal framework and health coverage. From this analysis, we propose the following definition: “Health insurance fraud is an act of deception or intentional misrepresentation to obtain illegal benefits concerning the coverage provided by a health insurance company”. Among the most relevant manifestations perpetuated by the provider are phantom billing, falsification of documents, and overutilization of services; the subscribers are identity fraud, misrepresentation of coverage and alteration of documents; and those perpetrated by the insurance company are false declarations of benefits and falsification of reimbursements. Of the 47 factors, 25 showed an experimental influence, including three in the macroenvironment: culture, regulations, and geography; five in the mesoenvironment: characteristics of provider, management policy, reputation, professional role and auditing; 12 in the microenvironment: sex, race, condition of insurance, language, treatments, chronic disease, future risk of disease, medications, morale, inequity, coinsurance, and the decisions of the claims-adjusters; and five combined factors: the relationships between beneficiary-provider, provider-insurance company, beneficiary-insurance company, managers and guānxi. Conclusions: The multifactorial nature of HIF and the characteristics of its manifestations depend on its definition; Identifying the influence of the factors will support subsequent attempts to combat HIF.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
JournalHealth and Justice
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Behaviour
  • Factor
  • Fraud
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Manifestation

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