The Healthy Nudge
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 .
Symposium Brings Together Behavioral Scientists from Across Globe
Late this fall, researchers from a variety of disciplines gathered at the University of Pennsylvania for the 8th annual Behavioral Science & Health Symposium. Co-hosted by CHIBE and faculty from Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago, the event featured behaviorally-informed research presentations tackling the challenges of obesity, sleep deprivation, alcohol-impaired driving and poor nutrition, among other topics. Keynote speakers were Sara Bleich, PhD, Ellen Peters, PhD, and Jon Skinner, PhD.
The Evidence on Medicaid Healthy Behavior Incentive Programs
A recent cohort study conducted by CHIBE investigators found little to no positive association between key health behaviors and Medicaid Healthy Behavior Incentive Programs. Sarah Huf, MBBS, PhD, Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD and David Asch, MD, MBA compared data from four states that have implemented such programs with data from 44 states that have not, looking specifically at smoking cessation, weight loss and annual preventive health visit outcomes. The team concluded that "the value, format, and timing of the incentive, complexity in delivery, and lack of awareness of incentives among target beneficiaries and clinicians may limit the usefulness of programs..." Commentary from Joshua Liao, MD, MsC and Amol Navathe, MD, PhD discusses the implications of the study further.
Strategies for Parent Behavior Change in Pediatric Settings
In an article for Academic Pediatrics, Brian Jenssen, MD, MSHP, Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA and Alexander Fiks, MD, MSCE discuss the application of behavioral economic principles to the pediatric setting, highlighting four key behavioral strategies relevant to parent behavior change. The authors note that "as the application of behavioral economics expands to the pediatric setting, further work is needed to better understand parental decision making, the pediatrician's role in influencing these decisions, and the application of strategies to yield sustained improvements in clinical effectiveness."
Blog Spotlight
Transforming Mental Health Care with Behavioral Economics and Implementation Science
This fall, Rinad Beidas, PhD discussed the main projects and goals of the University of Pennsylvania NIMH ALACRITY Center in a video interview for CHIBE's blog.
Online Professional Development Course Registration:
02/05 - 04/01/19
Instructor: Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD
Target Audience: clinicians, administrators, and researchers who are interested in testing and applying ideas from psychology to incentivize behavioral change in their workplace and among patients
In The News
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Want to reduce opioid use? Nudge the doctors who prescribe them

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75 percent of Philly-area drivers use phone in car. Can apps make them stop?

Yum and yuck: the psychology of what we eat...and what we spit out

How will the Texas ACA ruling impact health care?

Exercise options besides an annual gym membership

Black and Hispanic Americans have a harder time quitting cigarettes. Will this study find a way to help?

$11 million PCORI grant to PSOM’s Scott Halpern research team

 CHIBE Profile
Associate Director of Data Analytics Jingsan Zhu, MS, MBA oversees CHIBE's portfolio of analytical work and engages the analytical team in dynamic activities of data sourcing, data mining, quality assurance and reporting.
You began working at the Perelman School of Medicine in 2002. How did your work lead you to your current position at CHIBE?
When I started working with Dr Kevin Volpp as an analyst, I didn't think I’d still be at Penn Medicine 16 years later. That's only been possible because I've always enjoyed working with Kevin, and I see a place for myself in his strong vision for CHIBE. My work has never lacked challenges as CHIBE has grown over the years. I now especially enjoy working with our visionary researchers and empowered staff who work hard to tackle the important health challenges our nation faces.
What are some major changes that you have seen in data analytics capabilities and technology over the course of your career? How have those changes applied to research in behavioral economics and health?
The expectations for data analytics in today's world are very high. Our Statistical Analysts need to master multiple programming languages to better communicate with researchers of diverse backgrounds and tap into technological resources made available to research communities in recent years. They train in multiple subject areas to better understand not only behavioral economics-driven design, but also concepts around econometric modeling, health economics, epidemiology, and bioinformatics, as our research has become increasingly interdisciplinary.

What advancements do you hope to see in the field of data analytics that could help to increase the quality and value of health care services?
I see two potential opportunities that hold promise. One is to apply big data analytics to deepen our understanding of complex processes of health care delivery and health behavior. This has been enabled not only by advancements in machine learning techniques, but by the burgeoning volume of data generated through the wide adoption of smart devices and democratization of data. I also see opportunities to unleash learning by conducting meta-analyses on the large number of studies done by CHIBE and affiliated researchers. We are sitting on a data gold mine from years of hard work.
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 healthcare delivery and increase healthy behavior.
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