%0 Journal Article
%T Potential COVID-19 test fraud detection: Findings from a pilot study comparing conventional and statistical approaches
%A Bosnjak, Michael
%A Dahm, Stefan
%A Kuhnert, Ronny
%A Weihrauch, Dennis
%A Schaffrath Rosario, Angelika
%A Hurraß, Julia
%A Schmich, Patrick
%A Wieler, Lothar H.
%D 2024
%G eng
%X Background: Some COVID-19 testing centres have reported manipulated test numbers for antigen tests/rapid tests. This study compares statistical approaches with traditional fraud detection methods. The extent of agreement between traditional and statistical methods was analysed, as well as the extent to which statistical
approaches can identify additional cases of potential fraud.
Methods: Outlier detection marking a high number of tests, modeling of the positivity rate (Poisson Regression), deviation from distributional assumptions regarding the first digit (Benford’s Law) and the last digit of the number of reported tests. The basis of the analyses were billing data (April 2021 to August 2022) from 907 testing centres in a German city.
Results: The positive agreement between the conventional and statistical approaches (‘sensitivity’) was between 8.6% and 24.7%, the negative agreement (‘specificity’) was between 91.3% and 94.6%. The proportion of potentially fraudulent testing centres additionally identified by statistical approaches was between 7.0% and 8.7%. The combination of at least two statistical methods resulted in an optimal detection rate of test centres with previously undetected initial suspicion.
Conclusions: The statistical approaches were more effective and systematic in identifying potentially fraudulent testing centres than the conventional methods. Testing centres should be urged to map paradata (e.g. timestamps of testing) in future pandemics.
%K COVID-19 Test Billing
%K Healthcare Billing Fraud
%K Statistical Fraud Dete
%K 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
%I Robert Koch-Institut
%J Journal of Health Monitoring
%N 2
%P 1--8
%R 10.25646/12100