News

Penn Today: Division of Public Safety unveils drug drop-off box

“Meanwhile, the Center for Health Incentives & Behavioral Economics in the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, a team of researchers are working on projects to address the crisis where it often begins: when patients, family members, or friends are first prescribed an opioid for pain management. Kit Delgado from CHIBE examined how to reduce the “default number” of pills the emergency department orders for opioid prescriptions to match current guidelines and gathering social comparison feedback from clinicians. In addition, Delgado is collecting data from patients who were prescribed opioids after orthopedic surgery…

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Philadelphia Inquirer: Penn doctors test ideas for higher-quality, lower-cost health care

“Health care is an unusual industry in that some of the most empowered and educated people, like physicians and nurses, are right there on the front lines with the customer,” said David Asch, the [Center for Health Care Innovation]’s executive director. “The question is how do we harvest that highly educated population with specialized knowledge right in front of customers.” Read more here.

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Science Newsline Medicine: Survey Finds Reducing Stigma Attributed to Alzheimer’s Is Vital to Prevention Research

“Stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease may be an obstacle for individuals to seek information about their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and to participate in clinical studies that discover potential therapies. That’s according to the results of a national survey about what beliefs, attitudes and expectations are most often associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The survey results are published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. ‘We found that concerns about discrimination and overly harsh judgments about the severity of symptoms were most prevalent,’ said Shana Stites, Psy.D., from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. ‘By understanding…

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Philadelphia Business Journal: Employee Wellness: Montco company has an app for that

“Dr. David Asch, a professor at the Perelman School of Medicine and Penn’s Wharton School, is a member of Val Health’s scientific advisory board. Asch was involved in a 2016 study led by his colleague, associate professor Mitish Patel that looked at the influence of behavioral economics on wellness programs. They found businesses needed to rethink how they encourage workers to participate in such programs. Typically, Asch said, incentives are crafted to reward, or punish, rational behavior. A company, for example, will award a cash bonus for going to the gym a certain number of days each month or they…

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Forbes: Want To Prevent Heart Attacks? Perhaps Don’t Try This Behavioral Economics Intervention

“If you experience a heart attack, you are probably going to need to take pills to prevent another such attack. People who take beta blockers, aspirin, or cholesterol pills after heart attacks are less likely to experience a second such attack. There’s a problem, though. Lots of people don’t take these pills, even after their doctors have prescribed them. Life gets in the way. They forget to take them, or they run out of pills, or they don’t get to the pharmacy for refills. To increase the chance people will take these important pills, a team out of the University of…

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KSDK St. Louis: Does it work to dangle a carrot for patients to take healthy steps?

Patricia Alexander knew she needed a mammogram but just couldn’t find the time. “Every time I made an appointment, something would come up,” said Alexander, 53, who lives in Moreno Valley, Calif. Over the summer, her doctor’s office, part of Vantage Medical Group, promised her a $25 Target gift card if she got the exam. Alexander, who’s insured through Medi-Cal, California’s version of the Medicaid program for lower-income people, said that helped motivate her to make a new appointment — and keep it. Health plans, medical practices and some Medicaid programs are increasingly offering financial incentives to motivate Medicaid patients…

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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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Undark: Putting Digital Health Monitoring Tools to the Test

PHYSICIANS CALL IT the 5,000-hour problem. If you have a common chronic condition such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, the expert in charge of your health for almost all of your 5,000 waking hours annually is — you. And, frankly, you won’t always make the best choices. “The behavior changes that are necessary to address chronic disease are much more in your hands than in the doctor’s,” points out Stacey Chang, executive director of the Design Institute for Health at Dell Medical School in Austin, Texas. “To cede that control to the doctor sometimes is actually counterproductive.” With that in mind,…

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When Push Comes to Nudge

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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