Statistical Assessment of a Conflict of Interest
Since the early 1990s, the medical community and government regulators have debated the question of self-referrals: Is it ethical for a physician to refer patients to an outside facility in which the physician has a financial interest, but no professional responsibility? This case teaches students the role of statistics in measuring the impact of a conflict of interest. Students compare the results of two studies, conducted in California and Florida, designed to assess the practice of self-referrals, and analyze how the methods used in the studies affected the results.
Case id: 090201