The Healthy Nudge
June 2021
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. Want more frequent updates? Follow us on Twitter @PennCHIBE and visit our website.
BCFG, CHIBE help launch Philly Vax Sweepstakes
CHIBE and the Behavior Change for Good Initiative have helped Philadelphia launch Philly Vax Sweepstakes, an incentive program to help boost COVID-19 vaccination rates among Philadelphia residents. While there are now a number of state vaccine lotteries that have been launched around the country, Philly’s program has some unique features driven by behavioral insights as well as a desire to target the city’s most under-vaccinated communities. Read the full story here.
Motivating late adopters of the COVID-19 vaccine
CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, and CHIBE-affiliated faculty member Carolyn Cannuscio, ScD, wrote a New England Journal of Medicine Perspective on: "Incentives for Immunity — Strategies for Increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake." As supply exceeds demand in many parts of the country, the study authors discuss ways to encourage "late adopters." They offer 3 strategies that could be sustainable solutions for boosting vaccination.
Advancing health equity through value-based payment
A JAMA Viewpoint by Joshua Liao, MD, MSc, as well as CHIBE External Advisory Board member Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, and CHIBE Associate Director Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, outlines an approach to "pay for equity." They suggest setting national goals on linking payment to improving equity, incorporating equity into the definition of value, and convening clinicians, insurers, community organizations, and patient advocates to work together on achieving equity goals.
How cost effective is paying smokers to quit?
4 financial incentive programs infographic
A new paper led by CHIBE-affiliated faculty member Louise Russell, PhD, in Annals of the American Thoracic Society, tested 4 financial incentive programs conducted at CVS Caremark for their cost effectiveness from the health care sector and employer perspectives. The authors found that the programs were cost-effective from the health care sector perspective. They were more expensive from the employer side "but may be cost-effective for employers with longer decision horizons."
A Farewell to Dr. Mitesh Patel
CHIBE bittersweetly announces that Penn Medicine Nudge Unit Director and CHIBE Associate Director Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS, has taken a new position with Ascension Health. CHIBE has been lucky to call Dr. Patel a member of our community since 2012 when he first joined as a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program. Since then, Dr. Patel has earned countless accolades, contributed incredible research with major real-world impact, and in 2016, he was named the inaugural Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, which is the world’s first behavioral design team embedded within a health system. CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, commented that “Mitesh has made enormous contributions to our team. When we founded the Nudge Unit 5 years ago we had high expectations, and it is safe to say he exceeded all of them. We will greatly miss his creativity, his energy, and his passion. He has an exciting new opportunity at Ascension Health, and we wish him all the best in the next exciting chapter of his career.”

When you think about your time with CHIBE, what comes to mind?
There are so many great experiences I had by being involved with CHIBE. The mentorship and collaborative network were a pivotal foundation to launching my career. Each year I looked forward to the annual retreat where I got to spend more time with close friends, as well as meet new colleagues that led to many new collaborations. It was a real honor to be asked to join the steering committee and leadership to help drive forward the mission of CHIBE. It also provided opportunities to meet and interact with leaders in the field who were on the external advisory board. CHIBE provided numerous opportunities to disseminate my work, and this has really helped accelerate how research leads to real-world implementation.

What will you miss about your role here at Penn?
I will miss my friends, colleagues, and collaboratives the most. Penn provided the perfect environment and support from leadership to start the world’s first nudge unit within a health system, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to have led that effort.

What are you looking forward to in your new position?
At Ascension Health I will be Vice President for Clinical Transformation and National Lead for Behavioral Insights. I am looking forward to the opportunity to take a lot of the scientific insights and lessons learned from my work at Penn and apply them through implementation of clinical programs at a national scale.
Selected Media Coverage
Selected New Publications
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 U.S. 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.