News

LDI eMagazine: The Latest in Behavioral Economics and Dinner With a Sphinx

“The most unusual and visually interesting part of this year’s annual University of Pennsylvania Behavioral Economics and Health Symposium was its reception and dinner in the Egyptian galleries of the Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. It was, for everyone in the smiling crowd, the first time they had dined in the presence of a sphinx. Now in its eighth year, the two-day symposium was co-hosted by Penn’s Center for Health Incentives & Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) and the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Roybal Center for Behavioral Change in Health and Savings….” Read more at LDI eMagazine.

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The first digital pill: innovation or invasion?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first digital pill that tracks if patients have taken their medication. Our experts weighed in on the potential benefits of the new technology, as well as the potential for abuse. (from left to right) Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD; Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBe; Emily Largent, PhD, JD, RN; Robert Field, PhD, JD, MPH The pill, a version of the antipsychotic Abilify used to treat schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, has an ingestible sensor that communicates with a wearable patch to record date and time of ingestion, as well as other physiological data. Patients…

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Fortune: How Can We Help People Quit Smoking? Pay Them.

Thursday is the 47th year of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. One of the longest-running awareness campaigns in the U.S., the Smokeout involves cancer societies, health organizations, and anti-smoking advocates using social and print media to remind Americans that now is the right time to quit. Each year Americans are subjected to over 200 national health awareness days, weeks, or months. These campaigns cover everything from autism to appropriate use of hospital linens. They are certainly effective in raising awareness over their target issues, a necessary first step in shifting our habits. But awareness campaigns can only be effective…

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Harvard Business Review: How to Reduce Primary Care Doctors’ Workloads While Improving Care

Not long ago, many services such as tax accounting were delivered episodically and in-person, as most health care still is today. Periodically, a client and accountant would meet, review financial materials and status and, at the end of the encounter, make an appointment for the next meeting. Increasingly, in-person accountant visits have been replaced by phone or web meetings and do-it-yourself software like TurboTax. There is still a need for accountants and face-to-face meetings, but typically accountants now require such visits for only the more complicated cases that can’t be managed with software or a call. Health care has proved…

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WHYY: Penn receives $6.4 million from NIMH for new mental health center

A $6.4 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health will fund a new research center at the University of Pennsylvania to study how evidence-based treatment can better circulate to more therapists and mental health care providers. Researchers want to try to reduce the “research to practice gap” in mental health. Rinad Beidas, an assistant professor of psychiatry and director of implementation research at Penn, said it takes 17 years for a small percentage of research to make its way into community settings. “That means that if an innovation today was developed to treat a particular condition, it’s likely…

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Harvard Business Review: The Rise of Behavioral Economics and Its Influence on Organizations

“A few years ago, for instance, General Electric’s leaders wanted to address the issue of smoking, believing that it impacted its employees negatively. So, in collaboration with Kevin Volpp and his co-authors, they conducted a randomized controlled trial (think: field experiment). Employees in the treatment group each received $250 if they stopped for six months and $400 if they stopped for 12 months. Those in the control group did not receive any incentive. The researchers found that the treatment group had three times the success rate of the control, and that the effect persisted even after the incentives were discontinued after…

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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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Washington Post: Maryland to offer online shopping tool for common medical procedures

The Maryland Health Care Commission, the state’s independent regulatory agency, is unveiling a website on which people scheduling a hip replacement, knee replacement, hysterectomy or vaginal delivery can see price differences among different providers for the same procedure. The site is launching amid rising health-care costs and as some consumers turn to insurance plans with high deductibles. The state site is meant to give consumers a tool to compare prices and quality on four common medical procedures at hospitals around the state that patients otherwise would have difficulty finding on their own. By showing ranges of costs — hip replacement surgery in…

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Cincinnati Republic: Revolutionary and Evolutionary Economics

Richard H. Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday for his work on human behavior and [ir]rational choice. Ironically, he currently hails from the same university that yielded one of the fathers of modern classical economic theory: Milton Friedman. While Thaler’s work challenges the basic economic assumption that humans behave in their own self-interest, its implications can – and probably will – impact both Keynesian and Austrian economic theory in the immediate future. The award is well earned, but while the hotly debated anticipation of who would deservedly win the award has been put to rest, it’s implications are…

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Knowledge@Wharton: Does Connectivity Help — or Hurt — the Doctor-Patient Relationship?

Christian Terwiesch, a Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions, has co-authored two new studies related to technology and health care. The first, which examined the impact of e-visits on primary care, found some surprisingly negative results about connectivity: E-visits can take up more of a physician’s time rather than making patient contacts simpler and more efficient. That has contributed to more physicians feeling overburdened and burnt out, with less ability to take on new patients. The second paper looked at how some of those negative effects could be turned around. Terwiesch sat down with Knowledge@Wharton to talk about these…

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