The Penn Summer Undergraduate Minority Research Programme (SUMR) promotes interest among minority undergraduates across the US in applying to healthcare-oriented doctoral programmes. Anand Gopal has been paired with faculty mentor Scott Halpern to review the design of randomized clinical trials in hospital intensive care units. She notes that is experience has "heightened my interest in this behind-the scenes process of healthcare system analysis."
Kevin Volpp's study "A Randomized Trial of Interventions to Improve Warfarin Adherence" was cited in a Wall Street Journal article that stressed the importance of funding health-related research. The study found that lottery-based financial incentives substantially improved patient compliance to warfarin. The study is cited as an example of crucial health-related research that can contribute to lowering the burden of illness on society.
Source: LDI News, August 2, 2012
David Asch has been appointed to serve as a member of the Institute of Medicine's new Committee on Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education. The committee will be tasked with assessing the current regulation, financing, content, governance, and organization of U.S. graduate medical education and making recommendations for how to modify the system to "produce a physician workforce for a 21st century U.S. health care system that provides high quality preventive, acute, and chronic care, and meets the needs of an aging and more diverse population."
Source: Penn News, August 1, 2012
Peter Reese was named a recipient of of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which is the highest honor bestowed by the US government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers. Reese was recognized for his efforts to increase access to kidney and liver transplantation.
Source: Institute of Medicine, July 2012
Institute of Medicine cites CHIBE work in a discussion paper on value in health care. In its 2012 paper "Demanding Value from Our Health Care: Motivating Patient Action to Reduce Waste in Health Care," the IOM calls for patient-oriented care by focusing on the values patients place on various health care procedures and cites CHIBE's efforts to engage patients.
Source: Toledo Blade, July 26, 2012
Drought conditions across the nation may lead to slight increases in food prices. Paul Rozin comments that the rise in the price of healthy foods may cause people to eat more unhealthy foods that are cheaper.
Source: Wharton Magazine, July 25, 2012
Mark Duggan, who served as a member of the White House team that crafted the Obamacare law, offers his insider's view of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists. He warns about the challenges of implementing certain features of health-care reform.
The Incidental Economist highlights CHIBE as the group to watch "if you are interested in novel approaches to improve health behaviors within and outside the formal healthcare system." The article cites the New England Journal of Medicine perspectives piece written by David Asch, Ralph Muller and Kevin Volpp titled "Automated Hovering in Health Care- Watching Over the 5000 Hours."
A number of workplaces are implementing small changes to increase physical activity on a day-to-day basis. Kevin Volpp comments that subtle alterations such as adding arrows to a hallway to turn it into a walking path can deliver incremental health benefits and change behavioral defaults to help people make healthier choices.
Kevin Volpp and David Asch were recently awarded the Health Care Innovation Award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to test out "automated hovering" approaches on coronary artery disease patients. Wireless pill caps will be used to help patients maintain their prescribed medication regimen after being discharged from the hospital following heart attack.
Ezekiel Emanuel, former White House health care advisor, spoke at this year's annual Behavioral Economics and Health Symposium held on June 6th. In an excerpt from his talk on health care reform, he discusses how "push back" altered the regulations for Accountable Care Organizations.
Scott Halpern's abstract “A Randomized Trial of Default Options in Advance Directives for Seriously Ill Patients” was selected as the winner of the Department of Medicine Austrian Award. The poster was displayed during the Department of Medicine's Research Day.
Source: NPR, June 7, 2012
In an interview with NPR, Scott Halpern comments that big prizes can be effective for weight loss especially if they are provided immediately, but most people regain the weight once the prizes go away. He also noted that "financial incentives work more easily for smoking, which is easier to maintain once you've quit."
A new Commonwealth Fund issue brief examines a study by Harald Schmidt and colleagues evaluating a German wellness program. While German wellness programs show cost-saving potential, participation in the programs is less likely among those with low incomes or poor health. As the Affordable Care Act allows for incentive increases in employer wellness programs, these researchers caution that the programs should be monitored very carefully.
Source: Penn Medicine News, May 24, 2012
Penn Medicine's first "Your Big Idea" Challenge selected two winning ideas out of over 1,700. The winning ideas that will be implemented are MyPenn Scheduler, an interactive appointment scheduling website and Patient Service Kiosks that enable patients to register and check in for appointments. Christian Terwiesch and Kevin Mahoney are very pleased with the quality and quantity of the ideas submitted for the tournament.
In a Cincinnati Business Courier report addressing company hiring decisions, Harald Schmidt comments that employers have a key role to play in helping their workers develop healthier behaviors, and abrogating responsibility by not hiring smokers and obese people is not sufficient.
LDI Senior Fellow Mark Pauly has been named a recipient of the American Society of Health Economists' (ASHEcon) 2012 Victor R. Fuchs Lifetime Achievement Award.
Source: Penn Medicine, May 14, 2012
David Asch was a recipient of this year's Distinguished Graduate Award from Penn Medicine. The award represents the highest honor bestowed upon graduates of the Perelman School of Medicine and honors highly accomplished alumni for their outstanding service to society and to the profession of medicine.
Gaming techniques are an increasingly popular new way to improve health behaviors. A number of workplace programs are using competitive videogame-style techniques to motivate employees to eat healthier and exercise more. Kevin Volpp notes that there is not a lot of peer-reviewed evidence out there that these gaming techniques actually achieve sustained improvement in health outcomes.
Kevin Mahoney's "Big Ideas Challenge" sought ideas for innovative ways to improve patient care from Penn staff. Ten ideas were chosen out of over 1,750 to be presented at a town hall meeting next month. Future innovation tournaments will focus on more targeted issues.
Christian Terwiesch described this as "the American Idol phenomena" because "you have thousands of potential innovations but don't know which ones would ultimately create the kind of value that really moves the needle on patient experience." He also pointed out that the winning ideas will be refined into effective business plans.