News

Reuters: Young diabetics may check sugar more when money’s at stake

Teens and young adults with diabetes may do a better job of checking their blood sugar when they get daily financial incentives than when there’s no cash on the line, a recent experiment suggests. Researchers tested out the potential for money to motivate young people to test blood sugar daily by offering $60 a month up front and then subtracting $2 for each day a participant didn’t follow through on required testing. For three months, researchers randomly selected 90 teens and young adults to get these cash incentives or no reward at all. Overall, the youth with money at stake…

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LDI Symposium Highlights Promising Behavioral Solutions to Public Health Challenges

Earlier this month, our founding partner, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, celebrated 50 years of research with a symposium drawing together some of the brightest minds in health policy. At a panel focused on the potential for behavioral science to influence health care, CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD joined External Advisory Board member Robert Galvin, MD, Internal Advisory Board member Barbara Kahn, PhD, MBA, MPhil and renowned Duke University behavioral economist Peter Ubel, MD to outline behavioral solutions that address premature mortality in the United States. The panel, moderated by Internal Advisory Board member David Asch, MD,…

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Philadelphia Inquirer: Pa. families appear to embrace tougher school vaccination rules

It took many an email, copious notices snail-mailed home, and robo-calls aplenty, not to mention some thinly veiled threats of turning away unvaccinated kids from school. But education and health officials around Pennsylvania say that, for the most part, families appear to be rising to the challenge of earlier, stricter deadlines for getting students immunized. “At this time, school districts and school nurses are doing a great job of coordinating with parents and asking for resources when needed,” said state health department spokeswoman April Hutcheson. No new immunization numbers have been tallied yet, but officials say the rules seem to be…

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The 50-state Laboratory: How Can Behavioral Science Bolster Vaccination Policy?

Vaccinating kids saves a lot of lives and a lot of dollars. High rates of vaccine coverage assure community protection (“herd immunity”), and in the United States we achieve this by requiring children to be fully vaccinated by the time they start school. Taken together, these requirements are often called the “immunization schedule.” We’ve mandated school-entry immunization for so long that it at times seems like a given, but many other countries don’t have similar mandates. They suffer from lower vaccine coverage and more disease. But what happens when parents in the U.S. don’t want their children to be vaccinated? All 50 states have…

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Psychology Today: Are Simple Behavioral Interventions Cost Effective?

Psychology Today: “These analyses suggest that simple behavioral interventions should remain a part of the way governments and organizations try to affect people’s behavior. They often involve simple interventions that give a lot of bang for the buck. That said, it is also worth doing some testing of the effectiveness of these interventions. At times they can lead to unintended consequences.”

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NPR: ‘Smart’ Pill Bottles Aren’t Always Enough To Help The Medicine Go Down

What if I told you there was a way to use technology to save an estimated $100 billion to $300 billion dollars a year in health care spending in the U.S.? That’s the estimated cost incurred because people don’t take the medications they’re prescribed. A number of companies are now selling wireless “smart” pill bottles, Internet-linked devices aimed at reminding people to take their pills. But recent research suggests that actually changing that behavior may take more than an electronic nudge. All agree it’s a worthy goal. Dr. Niteesh Choudhry, an internist at Harvard Medical School, describes the problem of not taking medication as “the…

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MedCity News: Can technology improve medication adherence after a heart attack?

Integrating technology into the healthcare system is no longer unconventional. From helping clinicians keep track of data to assisting patients as they track their own health, technology’s benefits are numerous. But does technology make a difference in every situation? How about when it comes to outcomes after a heart attack? A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine found the answer is … no. The analysis concluded that when compared to usual care, using wireless technology, financial incentives and social support didn’t improve patient outcomes after a heart attack. As part of the study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recruited 1,509 participants,…

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

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

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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Financial incentives improve adolescent glucose self-monitoring

  http://chibe.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/arm17.mp4 Daily glucose monitoring is critical to achieving glycemic control, but many adolescents “fall off the cliff” as they transition from childhood to young adulthood and parents become less involved in diabetes care. In a new study presented at AcademyHealth’s 2017 Annual Research Meeting in New Orleans, Dr. Charlene Wong found that  daily loss-framed financial incentives improve adherence to daily glucose monitoring among adolescents and young adults with Type 1 Diabetes.  Dr. Wong describes the implications of her study in a video interview [above] at the Annual Research Meeting. This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that…

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