Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics News Archive

You are viewing all posts

"Loss Incentive" Motivates Employees to Take More Steps

Sources: The New York Times, Forbes, TIMEPhiladelphia Inquirer, Reuters, FortuneMedpage Today, Newswise, STAT, ACSHLDI Blog, Penn Medicine, February 16, 2016; Penn Current March 24, 2016

A study lead by Mitesh Patel, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, gave 281 overweight and obese participants a goal of 7,000 steps per day for 13 weeks. Participants were randomized to one of three incentive groups with daily feedback, a gain incentive ($1.40 for each day goal was met); lottery incentive (daily eligibility if goal was achieved); or loss incentive ($42 allocated monthly upfront and $1.40 removed each day goal was not achieved) or a control group with daily feedback. They found that financial incentives framed as a loss were most effective for achieving physical activity goals.

Tags: Mitesh Patel

High Out-of Pocket Costs Limits Access to Lifesaving Specialty Drugs

Source: Penn Medicine News, March 30, 2016

Two new studies led by Jalpa Doshi have found evidence that cost-sharing arrangements are associated with significant reductions in access to specialty drugs. Both papers are published online in the American Journal of Managed Care.

In the first study, the team conducted a review of the literature and found evidence that high out-of-pocket costs were generally associated with lower use of specialty drugs. In the second study, the team examined Medicare claims data and found that “Part D” (prescription drug plan) co-insurance policies for specialty drugs seem to be reducing or delaying use of a lifesaving class of leukemia therapies. 

Tags: Jalpa Doshi

Drawing the Line between Paternalism and Patient-Centered Care

Source: NEJM Catalyst, March 25, 2016

Where do we draw the line between improving people’s health behavior in the direction that we want, versus leaving them happy with what they have? Kevin Volpp, David Kirchhoff, and Wendy Wood discuss how much providers should let patients drive what happens (patient-centered care), and when it might make sense to be more paternalistic. This segment is taken from the NEJM Catalyst event Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health 

Tags: Kevin Volpp

Improving Patient Engagement

Source: NEJM Catalyst, March 7, 2016

As Lead Advisor for the Patient Engagement theme on NEJM Catalyst, Kevin Volpp kicks off an ongoing series of articles, case studies, interviews, and other contributions from leaders dedicated to improving patient engagement. 

His first blog post discusses patient engagement and behavioral insights. He summarizes that the key to designing a better health care system is to recognize that what patients want is to be healthy, not consume health services.

Tags: Kevin Volpp

When - and How - Can Incentives Actually Work?

Source: NEJM Catalyst, March 7, 2016

A lot of incentives programs don’t work, but they can if they’re designed just a little bit better, says David Asch. He and NEJM Catalyst’s Tom Lee sat down to discuss how financial incentives really can work to engage people in healthy behavior, and Asch discusses how things have changed since publishing several key articles in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Tags: David Asch

New York Times Op-Ed: Paying Employees to Lose Weight

Source: The New York Times, March 4, 2016

Mitesh Patel, David Asch and Kevin Volpp authored an Op-Ed in The New York Times about the effectiveness of workplace wellness programs based on recent research they've published. Their research suggests that financial incentives can work well for employee wellness programs, but only if they are separated from insurance premiums.


How Defaults Can be Used to Improve Cancer Care

Source: Medscape, March 3, 2016

An article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, authored by Eric Ojerholm, Scott Halpern and Justin Bekelman, explores what defaults are, why they work, and how they could be used to improve quality and value in oncology. The article includes three examples in which a default option could be useful clinically.


NEJM Catalyst Patient Engagement Seminar

Source: New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst, February 25, 2016

CHIBE hosted a free web event, produced by NEJM catalyst focused on improving the quality and value of health care through patient engagement. Ten preeminent business and clinical experts with in-depth knowledge of psychology, habit formation, behavioral economics, social marketing, and benefit design (several from CHIBE) shared their perspectives on ways to change patients’ health behavior that are scalable and usable across a wide range of clinical contexts.


Financial Incentives and Obesity

Source: 2ser Radio, February 24, 2016

A radio station in Sydney Austrailia interviewed Kevin Volpp about the intricacies of monitoring people's behaviour and effectively implementing change using financial incentives, particularly in relation to obesity.

Tags: Kevin Volpp

Kevin Volpp and Dan Polsky Lead New Big Data Initiative to Improve Health in Pennsylvania

Sources: Penn Medicine News, LDI News, February 23, 2016

Dan Polsky of LDI and Kevin Volpp of CHIBE will lead a four-year project to develop and test algorithms aimed at predicting adverse health events in real time. The project, Smarter Big Data for a Healthy Pennsylvania: Changing the Paradigm of Healthcare is funded by the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) program, and will examine the use of the algorithms in the hospital, at home, and in the community.


Jalpa Doshi Wins Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation Challenge

Source: Patient Access Network, January 29, 2016

Jalpa Doshi, Pengxiang (Alex) Li, and colleagues have been announced as the first-place winners in the “PAN Challenge: Balancing Moral Hazard, Affordability and Access to Critical Therapies in the Age of Cost Sharing” launched by the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation in collaboration with the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC). The competition called for papers addressing how federal cost sharing policies affect the ability of individuals with chronic and rare diseases to have affordable access to critical therapies and what policy solutions are likely to improve access.

Their paper titled “High Cost Sharing and Specialty Drug Initiation under Medicare Part D: A Case Study in Newly Diagnosed Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients “ won the first prize of $10,000.  More importantly, the paper will be published in a special AJMC supplement and presented at a Cost Sharing Roundtable convened at the Kaiser Family Foundation Barbara Jordan Conference Center in Washington D.C. next month. 

Tags: Jalpa Doshi

SUMR Scholar Alum Named to Forbes "30 Under 30"

Source: Forbes, January 19, 2016

An alumni of Leonard Davis Institute's Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) Program, Aaron Schwartz, was named to Forbes "30 Under 30" list. Aaron is a graduate of Swarthmore College and is now a medical student at Harvard. His research focuses on algorithms to determine how much is being spent on medical services that don't make patients much healthier. His work has been published in Health Affairs, JAMA Internal Medicine, and the New England Journal of Medicine.


Insurer Rewards Push Women Toward Mammograms

Sources: The New York Times, January 18, 2016

A New York Times Op-Ed column authored by Harald Schmidt, PhD, discusses the practice of employers and health plans incentivizing women to get mammograms. Since the pros and cons of getting a mammogram can be complicated, depending on age and risk profiles, he suggests that employers and health plans should instead offer incentives that reward the use of online decision aids which are based on the best available scientific evidence. In short, he writes "Don’t pay women to get mammograms — pay them to use a tool to decide whether they should get mammograms."


Warning Labels May Deter Parents From Purchasing Sugar-sweetened Beverages for Kids

Sources: CBS NewsUS News & World Report, TIME, Fox News, Philly.com, Penn Medicine NewsHealthDayMedical News TodayWebMD, Medical Daily, Doctors Lounge, Medical Xpress, Capital Wired, NewsMaxInternational Business Times, January 14, 2016

An article published in Pediatrics by lead author Christina Roberto, PhD, found that warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages may deter parents from purchasing them. Roberto commented that "Some states have introduced bills requiring SSBs to display health warning labels, but to date, there is little data to suggest how labels might influence purchasing habits, or which labels may be the most impactful." She notes that their findings are similar to those from studies that examined the effects of tobacco warning labels, which have been shown to encourage smoking cessation.


Behavioral Economics Offers Suggestions for Using Wearables

Source: The Washington Post, January 14, 2016

The Washington Post published a write-up of Mitesh Patel and colleagues' past work on wearable technologies. While a lot of people are interested in the potential for wearables to transform health behaviors, there hasn't been much evidence yet that these devices do that, says Patel. There is also little understanding of how the health community can get wearables into the hands of the patients who need them most. Patel also offered some guidelines for how people or organizations can best use activity trackers.

Tags: Mitesh Patel

Study Finds Premium-Based Financial Incentives Did Not Promote Workplace Weight Loss

Sources: Penn Medicine News, US News & World Report, Philadelphia Inquirer, NPR, NPR BlogChicago Tribune, Kaiser Health News, WebMD, HealthDayMedical Xpress, WDAM, Metro, Human Resource Executive, PhillyVoice,  Health Affairs Podcast, January 6, 2016

A study led by Dr. Mitesh Patel, published in Health Affairs, revealed that three different types of incentive programs using either health insurance premium adjustments or lottery-based financial incentives were ineffective for promoting weight loss in a randomized trial using weight scales in the workplace. Authors note that the apparent failure of the incentives to promote weight loss suggests that employers encouraging weight reduction and other healthy lifestyle choices through workplace wellness programs should test incentive designs different from the typical premium-based financial incentives. 

Tags: Mitesh Patel

"Wearable Devices as Facilitators of Health Behavior Change" Among Top 5 JAMA Articles of 2015

Source: Center for Health Care Innovation,  December 30, 2015

"Wearable Devices as Facilitators, Not Drivers, of Health Behavior Change," an article written by Mitesh Patel, David Asch and Kevin Volpp was named one of the top five most popular articles of 2015 by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). According to Altmetric, the article was viewed more than 40,000 times, covered by 15 news outlets, tweeted about by 992 Twitter users and mentioned on 58 Facebook pages.


Kevin Volpp to lead NEJM catalyst theme, “Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health"

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, December 17, 2015

NEJM Group announced the launch of NEJM Catalyst, an online resource that offers a combination of multimedia content, web events, expert panels, and new research. NEJM Catalyst articles, case studies, video talks and events are organized around key themes impacting health care today. Kevin Volpp will lead the NEJM catalyst theme, “Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health" on February 25th, 2016.

Tags: Kevin Volpp

Kevin Volpp Featured as Keynote Speaker in GHDonline Video Interview about Designing Provider Incentives

Source: GHDonline, December 7, 2015

As part of the GHDonline's Breakthrough Opportunities Event Series, Kevin Volpp was featured as the first Keynote Speaker in a video interview about designing provider incentives. In the video, Kevin shares his latest work on how lessons from behavioral economics and psychology can be leveraged to develop design principles for financial and nonfinancial provider incentives.

Tags: Kevin Volpp

Heather Schofield Featured in NPR Story Examining the Economic Consequences of Poor Sleep in India

Source: NPR, December 2, 2015

Heather Schofield's research was recently featured in a NPR story entitled "A Bad Night's Sleep Might Do More Harm Than You Think." In the story, Heather discusses the real-world impact that chronic sleep deprivation could have on how people make decisions