All Posts By

Melissa Ostroff

Governing: The Vaccination-Exemption Challenge

By | In the News | No Comments

Dr. Alison Buttenheim recently penned an op-ed piece for Governing discussing the current vaccination-exemption challenge. As more and more parents opt out of vaccinating their children and more outbreaks of headline-grabbing diseases such as measles and pertussis, many states are strengthening their vaccination-exemption laws.  For instance, California, offers no non-medical exemptions for parents who do not wish to comply with school-mandated vaccinations.  So while there have been fewer measles outbreaks, there has been a 150% increase in medical exemptions in California over the past year. Buttenheim discusses how state legislators can balance both protecting disease outbreaks and the collective “herd…

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ideas42 Seminar Series: A Talk with Mitesh Patel

By | CHIBEblog | No Comments

ideas42’s network of academic affiliates represent some of the world’s foremost experts in behavioral science. With the ideas42 Affiliate Series, we invite leading scholars to share their insights and what inspires their exploration into human behavior. Our New York office was pleased to host Mitesh Patel of the University of Pennsylvania. Mitesh studies innovative ways to change health behaviors and improve outcomes by combining digital health approaches with engagement strategies that leverage insights from behavioral economics. He is also Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, where he leads an initiative within the health care system to systematically test ways to apply insights from…

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Change Behaviors For Good With Katherine Milkman

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Jean Chatsky, interviewer of HerMoney, speaks with Katherine Milkman, PhD,  to explain why changing our behaviors can be so difficult, and — best of all — how to finally make the changes we want for good. In Mailbag, we answer your questions on how to prioritize savings with credit card debt, what to do with old 403(b) accounts and how to handle those sometimes-pricey hobbies for kids. You can listen to the podcast here at PRX.

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Reuters: Two out of three U.S. adults have not completed an advance directive

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A team of researchers led by Katherine Courtright, MD, MS, revealed that 63 percent of American adults have not completed an advance directive, reported by the most comprehensive study to date on the subject.  Advance directives are the primary tool for individuals to communicate their wishes if they become incapacitated and are unable to make their own health care decisions, particularly near the end of life. Read more at Reuters and Fierce Healthcare.

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When Push Comes to Nudge

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Imagine if health care costs could be dramatically reduced, and outcomes improved without any heavy lifting – no bills would need to be passed, no policies approved, and no major restructuring required. What if we could simply will people to make decisions that resulted in better care and a healthier population? “Decisions are affected by emotions, bias, social context. The solution is design,” David Asch, MD, MBA, executive director of Penn’s Center for Health Care Innovation, recently said at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s annual conference. The idea that better decisions can be made simply by guiding people to them…

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Pew Trusts: What Drives Inappropriate Antibiotic Use in Outpatient Care?

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A professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania was recently mentioned in an article by the Pew Charitable Trusts regarding inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings across the United States.  The article discusses various factors that influence the decision to prescribe, and how to improve prescribing by understanding behavior. Read more at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

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Knowledge@Wharton: How Anticipating Future Variety Curbs Consumer Boredom

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Wharton marketing professor Barbara Kahn, PhD, MBA, recently co-wrote a paper debunking the idea that consumers respond positively to an endless supply of the exact same product. Through controlled lab experiments, Kahn and her team found that when consumers are offered more variety for future consumption, their perception of present satisfaction changes. Knowledge@Wharton interviewed Dr. Kahn to investigate what this study means for markets, read the transcription here.

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Healthcare Finance: Healthcare industry should employ behavioral economics to change outcomes, increase financial success

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Interviewed by Healthcare Finance, David Asch, MD, MBA, suggests that behavioral economics, or “strategies to bypass people’s cognition,” is necessary for the healthcare system to be better off financially and patients to be healthier.  Asch says that behavioral economics “recognizes people are irrational — in predictable ways. Decisions are affected by emotions, bias, social context. The solution is design. We’re all irrational. The key insight in behavioral economics is that we’re all irrational in highly predictable ways.” Read more of Dr. Asch’s interview here.

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MedPage Today: Triple Attack on Drug Nonadherence Still Fails in Post-AMI Setting

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MedPage Today discusses the results of a study done by Kevin Volpp, Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, Dr. Shivan Mehta, Dr. David Asch, Dr. Andrea Troxel, among many others affiliated with the center. The study was done to determine if there were any statistical differences in hospitalizations based on an intervention combining wireless pill bottles, lottery-based incentives, and social support among acute myocardial infarction (MI) survivors. Unfortunately, this study showed that a system of medication reminders using financial incentives and social support did not improve medication adherence. Read the original JAMA article here. Read more…

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