Source: The Commonwealth Fund, May 29, 2012 A new Commonwealth Fund issue brief examines a study by Harald Schmidt and colleagues evaluating a German wellness program. While German wellness programs show cost-saving potential, participation in the programs is less likely among those with low incomes or poor health. As the Affordable Care Act allows for incentive increases in employer wellness programs, these researchers caution that the programs should be monitored very carefully.
Source: Penn Medicine News, May 24, 2012 Penn Medicine’s first “Your Big Idea” Challenge selected two winning ideas out of over 1,700. The winning ideas that will be implemented are MyPenn Scheduler, an interactive appointment scheduling website and Patient Service Kiosks that enable patients to register and check in for appointments. Christian Terwiesch and Kevin Mahoney are very pleased with the quality and quantity of the ideas submitted for the tournament.
Source: Cincinnati Business Courier, May 18, 2012 In a Cincinnati Business Courier report addressing company hiring decisions, Harald Schmidt comments that employers have a key role to play in helping their workers develop healthier behaviors, and abrogating responsibility by not hiring smokers and obese people is not sufficient.
Source: Penn Medicine, May 14, 2012 David Asch was a recipient of this year’s Distinguished Graduate Award from Penn Medicine. The award represents the highest honor bestowed upon graduates of the Perelman School of Medicine and honors highly accomplished alumni for their outstanding service to society and to the profession of medicine.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2012 Gaming techniques are an increasingly popular new way to improve health behaviors. A number of workplace programs are using competitive videogame-style techniques to motivate employees to eat healthier and exercise more. Kevin Volpp notes that there is not a lot of peer-reviewed evidence out there that these gaming techniques actually achieve sustained improvement in health outcomes.
Source: MedCity News, April 23, 2012, LDI Health Economist, April 25, 2012 Kevin Mahoney’s “Big Ideas Challenge” sought ideas for innovative ways to improve patient care from Penn staff. Ten ideas were chosen out of over 1,750 to be presented at a town hall meeting next month. Future innovation tournaments will focus on more targeted issues. Christian Terwiesch described this as “the American Idol phenomena” because “you have thousands of potential innovations but don’t know which ones would ultimately create the kind of value that really moves the needle on patient experience.” He also pointed out that the winning ideas…
Source: AAMC Reporter, April 19, 2012 In an interview with the AAMC Reporter about his book “Smart Medicine,” Bill Hanson discusses how technological advances make health care more efficient and less costly. He suggests that the traditional model of medical education is already over and that the new model is moving toward a more team-based approach leaning heavily on easily accessible information.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Blog, April 4, 2012 The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently announced that they are supporting a number of research projects testing simple interventions that may have widespread impact on complex problems. The initiative titled “Applying Behavioral Economics to Perplexing Problems In Health and Health Care” received administrative support from LDI CHIBE. Eight innovative proposals were selected to be funded through the initiative and teams will convene next year to share their findings.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, April 4, 2012 A new campaign has nine medical societies making recommendations against dozens of unnecessary medical tests in order to cut costs and avoid anxiety and risky follow-up procedures in patients. Mark Pauly believes that insured patients might not question the need for tests that they are not paying for directly. He says “the way to get them to do it is to give them a stake in the outcome.”