CHIBE in the News

Washington Post: Why It’s So Hard to Die in Peace

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For those of us who had hoped that American attitudes toward death were shifting in ways that would promote a wider reconstruction of the health-care system, there’s discouraging news from Health Affairs, the preeminent journal of health policy. It devotes its latest issue to “end-of-life” care and finds that — at least so far — the power to make health care more compassionate and cost-effective is limited. Superficially, the vision seems to be triumphing, according to the 17 studies in Health Affairs. By one study, a third of American adults — and nearly half those 65 and older — have some sort of…

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NPR Marketplace: The part of Obamacare even Republicans like

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“For as much as President Trump has pushed to repeal Obamacare, the administration is quietly moving ahead with several programs aimed to slow health care spending in Medicare and Medicaid. It turns out, as health care keeps gobbling up more and more of our economy, controlling costs is something everybody agrees is a problem. Tucked into the 900-plus pages of the Affordable Care Act is a provision that created something called the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. “The Innovation Center was specifically charged with trying to develop new ways to pay for care that increase value,” said Dr. Amol Navathe, a University…

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Philly.com: Offer of $100 Boosts Rates of Colon Cancer Screenings

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Offering $100 to patients eligible for a preventive colonoscopy screening more than doubled the rate of screening when compared to a simple emailed request, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Screening colonoscopies improve the chance of early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer, but tens of millions of Americans who should have preventive screenings fail to get them. The new study, published this week in Gastroenterology, suggests that a simple financial incentive may be able to persuade many of those holdouts to undergo this important medical procedure. “Colonoscopy is challenging for patients, requiring a…

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Harvard Business School: Why Government ‘Nudges’ Motivate Good Citizen Behavior

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Most governments aren’t subtle when they want citizens to do something. The United States spends close to $1 billion annually on advertising–trying to convince citizens to do everything from taking flu prevention shots to reporting unattended suitcases at the airport. But now agencies are finding that subtle “nudges” can motivate behavior much better than ads, fines, or deadlines. Nudges, or small changes to the context in which decisions are made, are the subject of a new analysis by Harvard Business School Associate Professor John Beshears and colleagues, recently published in the journal Psychological Science. The paper, Should Governments Invest More in Nudges? answers its…

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STAT: ‘Are you saying I’m dying?’ Training doctors to speak frankly about death

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Faced with the uncomfortable task of discussing death, doctors often avoid the topic. Only 17 percent of Medicare patients surveyed in a 2015 Kaiser Family Foundation study said they had discussed end-of-life care — though most wanted to do so. Since that study, Medicare has begun reimbursing providers for having these conversations. Yet still, just a fraction of Medicare recipients at the end of life have those talks with their doctors. Simulators with live actors have intuitive appeal, especially since doctors rarely get hands-on experience with these tough conversations in medical school. But Dr. Scott Halpern, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Palliative and…

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Governing: The Vaccination-Exemption Challenge

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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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NPR: 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, NPR, Fierce Healthcare, and Times of Malta, listen to a WTOP Radio interview, or watch the video at CBS News.

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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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