Kevin Volpp headshot

University of Pennsylvania
Perelman School of Medicine, Division of Health Policy
1120 Blockley Hall
423 Guardian Drive

Phone: 215-573-9718
Fax: 215-573-8778
Research Area(s): Chronic Disease Management Clinician Behavior Global Health Medication Adherence Obesity & Food Choice Physical Activity Smoking Cessation mHealth & Wearables

Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD

Director, CHIBE
Mark V. Pauly President's Distinguished Professor, Perelman School of Medicine
Division Chief, Division of Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine
Professor of Medicine, Division of Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Management, Wharton School

Dr. Volpp is the founding Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) and the Mark V. Pauly President’s Distinguished Professor at Perelman School of Medicine and Health Care Management at the Wharton School. He is also the Health Policy Division Chief for the Department of Medical Ethics and Policy.

Dr. Volpp’s work focuses on developing and testing innovative ways of applying insights from behavioral economics in improving patient health behavior and affecting provider performance. He has done work with a variety of employers, insurers, health systems, and consumer companies in testing the effectiveness of different behavioral economic strategies in addressing tobacco dependence, obesity, and medication non-adherence. He has competitively been awarded more than $60 million to lead or co-lead studies funded by the NIH; the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation; the CDC; VA Health Services Research and Development; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Hewlett Foundation; the Commonwealth Foundation; the Aetna Foundation; Mckinsey; CVS Caremark; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield; Hawaii Medical Services Association; Merck; Humana; Aramark; WW; and Discovery (South Africa).

Dr. Volpp’s work has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Health Affairs and has been covered by media outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Good Morning America, the BBC, National Public Radio, Der Spiegel, and Australian National Radio. An intervention study on financial incentives and smoking cessation among employees at General Electric resulted in tripling of long-term smoking cessation rates and implementation of a program based on this approach nationally among all 152,000 GE employees in the U.S. and was the winner of the British Medical Journal Group Award for Translating Research into Practice. He has helped lead research that serves as the foundation for numerous other widely implemented programs such as a national program on financial incentives for smoking cessation among CVS employees, a prescription refill synchronization program for Humana members, a simple health insurance plan called “Humana Simplicity,” and an approach to increase medication refills using enhanced active choice among CVS members.

Dr. Volpp’s work has been recognized by a number of awards including the Matilda White Riley Award for career achievement by the Office of Social and Behavioral Science at NIH, the Association for Clinical and Translational Science Distinguished Investigator Award for Career Achievement and Contribution to Clinical and Translational Science, the Alice Hersh Award from AcademyHealth, the John Thompson Prize from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration; a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and multiple ‘best paper of the year’ awards from different societies including Academy Health, the Society of General Internal Medicine, and the Association for Consumer Research.

Dr. Volpp is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Association of American Physicians (AAP), and the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences (IOM). He has served as an advisor to many different health plans, employers, and consumer companies.

He earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in biology from Harvard and was a Rotary Scholar at Freie Universitat in Berlin, Germany, where he studied the organization of health care delivery in the former East Germany. He earned an MD from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and a PhD from Wharton.

Download Dr. Volpp’s CV here.