The Healthy Nudge
March 2022
Welcome to The Healthy Nudge. Each month, we'll get you up to speed on the latest developments in policy-relevant health behavioral economics research at CHIBE.

A Freakonomics MD episode featuring CHIBE Internal Advisory Board Member David Asch, MD, MBA

"We often select doctors based on their reputations or on misconceptions about what really matters. But research shows that doctors’ experience and where they trained can significantly impact patient care." Listen or read the full transcript here.

A Health Affairs paper led by CHIBE Associate Director Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, and Joshua M. Liao, MD, MSc, FACP; Xiaowei S. Yan, PhD, MS; M. Kit Delgado, MD, MS; William M. Isenberg, MD, PhD; Howard M. Landa, MD, Barbara L. Bond, MD; Dylan S. Small, PhD; Charles A. L. Rareshide, MA; Zijun Shen, MS; Rebecca S. Pepe, MPH; Farah Refai, Victor J. Lei, PharmD, MSHP; Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD; and Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, MS

"Our objective was to evaluate the effect of feedback interventions for clinicians in reducing opioid prescribing. The interventions included feedback on a clinician’s outlier prescribing (individual audit feedback), peer comparison, and both interventions combined. ... Relative to usual care, there was a significant decrease in pills per prescription both for peer comparison feedback (−0.8) and for the combination of peer comparison and individual audit feedback (−1.2)." Read the research article in Health Affairs.

A blogpost featuring CHIBE Scientific Director Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, and CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD

The new National Academies Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus committee on “future directions for applying behavioral economics to policy” has appointed CHIBE Scientific Director Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, as its co-chair and CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, as a committee member. The committee seeks to review insights from behavioral economics to see how they could be leveraged in public policy objectives related to issues such as public health, chronic illness, economic well-being, and climate change. The members will create a report that will inform funding strategies, research priorities, and evidence synthesis and dissemination for the next 5-10 years. Read more here.

A JAMA Network Open paper by CHIBE Scientific Director Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA; Katherine Milkman, PhD; Angela Duckworth, PhD; Dena Gromet, PhD; Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA; and Gretchen Chapman, PhD

"This study found that patients who received text messages regarding flu vaccination had greater vaccine uptake than those who received no message. Messages that increase the likelihood that patients will indicate their intention to be vaccinated may also increase vaccination behavior." Read more in JAMA Network Open.

A Journal of Primary Care & Community Health paper led by CHIBE-affiliated faculty member Jaya Aysola, MD, MPH; Jeffrey Rewley, PhD, MS; Chang Xu, MS; Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH; Rebecca A. Hubbard, PhD

"Early work revealed that smoking behaviors are contagious, but it is not merely who you know that drives whether or not you successfully quit smoking or never smoke. What appears to matter is the way you are connected to your social ties and how they are connected to each other. Our study suggests that smoking behaviors do not occur in isolation, nor because of 1 or 2 prominent social network members. Rather, our findings point toward the potential role of clusters of similarly-behaving persons in influencing smoking behavior." Read more here.
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Special Event
CHIBE is hosting a free, virtual seminar on March 29 from 12-1 PM EST on “Changing Care Models in the 21st Century.” Panelists from the University of Pennsylvania and Humana will discuss major shifts in health care delivery, such as using technology and telehealth to make our national health system more cost efficient and higher quality. The panelists will also discuss other shifts such as moving more care out of the hospital and into the outpatient setting or into the home and using technology like AI to make care more proactive and less reactive.What are the important innovations in how care is delivered, financed, and incented, and what are the implications in terms of improving health, increasing value, and reducing health inequities? Find out in our virtual webinar.

CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, will offer the opening remarks, and CHIBE Associate Director Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, will serve as the moderator. Hear from our panelists:
  • Paula Chatterjee, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine
  • Brian Powers, MD, MBA, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Humana
  • Kate Goodrich, MD, MHS, Senior Vice President of Trend and Analytics at Humana
  • Vivek Garg, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Primary Care Organization at Humana
Humana’s Chief Medical Officer William Shrank, MD, MSHS, will offer closing words.
Job Opportunities
The University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine has several research staff positions open. Click here to see clinical research coordinator and research project manager openings related to behavioral science.
The Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) at the University of Pennsylvania conducts behavioral economics research aimed at reducing the disease burden from major public health problems. Originally founded within the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, our mission is to inform health policy, improve health care delivery, and increase healthy behavior.