Oct 17, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by
Two years ago, my colleagues and I knew very little about how to use behavioral economics to improve health care decisions. Today, we know more. We also know how much there is to learn and do in this field.
That’s why we’re excited to announce six new grantees who will continue to build on the work we’ve funded over the last two years to apply principles from behavioral economics to challenges in health care.
The new grantees are as follows:
- Amber Barnato and Rebecca Sudore, University of Pittsburgh and University of California, San Francisco, Consumer-directed financial incentives to increase advance care planning among Medicaid beneficiaries
- Jeremiah Schuur, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc., Decision Fatigue in the Emergency Department and the Use of Hospital Services
- Jeffrey Kullgren, University of Michigan Medical School, Decreasing Overuse of Low-Value Health Care Services through Physician Precommitment
- Mark Vogel and Scott Halpern, Genesys Health System and University of Pennsylvania, BEACON - Behavioral Economics for Advanced Care OptioNs
- Richard Frank and Abigail Friedman, Harvard Medical School, Behavioral Experiments in Improving Medicare Coverage Choice
- Mark Schlesinger and Rachel Grob, Yale University and University of Wisconsin – Madison, Precommitment, Provider Choice, and Forgoing Low-Value Health Care
If you’re curious about why we’re funding these particular projects at this specific moment in time, read on.
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Aug 7, 2013, 1:00 PM, Posted by
Today, the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc. (HCI3®) released “Improving Incentives to Free Motivation,” a report developed with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), that makes a bold assertion: Financial incentives won’t fix our payment problems in health care.
In a guest post on The Health Care Blog today, I outlined why simply throwing more carrots and sticks at doctors and patients won’t improve the quality or affordability of our health care:
Until we get [the] human motivators right in health care, we can try all sorts of complicated, elegant payment models and formulas and still ultimately not get to the goal of sustainable high value. It will always be just over the horizon. Let's absolutely be smart about incentives in health care, but let's also get away from talking about simple carrots and sticks. Instead, let’s find the right mix of motivators to promote the creativity we need to get the best care every single time.”
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Apr 2, 2013, 8:30 AM, Posted by
Brian C. Quinn
“Bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics faster than we can stop them. This problem is now a public health crisis: Infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria contribute to more than 99,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone – more than AIDS, traffic accidents, and the flu combined.
At RWJF, we believe today’s health care problems demand innovative solutions. Pioneer grantee Extending the Cure takes a unique approach, looking at this public health problem through an economic lens. They propose comprehensive, incentive-based solutions, such as creating incentives to discourage unnecessary antibiotic use and encourage the development of new drug therapies. ETC also recognizes that while we can't beat the bacteria, we can slow them down if we start to view antibiotics differently. Just like water or trees, we must treat these drugs as a natural resource that can be depleted with overuse.
We all have a role to play in making sure antibiotics are around when we need them. In this post on KevinMD, Dr. Daniel J. Morgan tells us what it’s like to face superbugs in the health care system and points out the critical role that hospitals can, and should, play in the effort to stop them.” — Brian C. Quinn
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Jan 28, 2013, 12:09 PM, Posted by
One look at the latest flu map from the Centers for Disease Control tells you everything you need to know: We are smack-dab in the middle of flu season. Make no mistake: Influenza, at best, can make you miserable—and, at worst, kill you. If you are one of the many Americans suffering from the flu this season, you will probably try anything to get relief from your sore throat, high fever, body aches, and chills. But do us a favor: Please don’t ask your doctor for an antibiotic. There are medications—called antivirals—that may decrease your symptoms and shorten your illness by a day or two. Antibiotics, however, won’t help you if you have the flu.
Antibiotics don’t fight infections that are caused by viruses, including influenza. Yet every year flu sufferers are prescribed antibiotics. According to a policy brief from Extending the Cure (ETC), a project funded by the Pioneer team, that researches and examines solutions to address antibiotic resistance, between 500,000 and 1 million antibiotic prescriptions are filled each flu season for patients who have the flu and no bacterial illness.
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Nov 15, 2012, 4:15 PM, Posted by
Antibiotics are a shared resource for protecting the public’s health. Since their introduction in 1941, antibiotics have saved millions of lives and transformed modern medicine. But the more you or I—or anyone—uses antibiotics when we don’t need them, the more we contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant microbes—and to the frightening prospect of a world where most infections don’t respond to antibiotics. If we don’t take collective action soon, this unthinkable scenario could become a reality.
To many who have heard these warnings before, antibiotic resistance seems like an evergreen issue that is always off in the distance. That is simply no longer true. We lose more people to just one kind of drug-resistant infection—methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus—than to HIV. The cumulative toll from all resistant infections in the United States is much greater. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to protect the arsenal that we have—those antibiotics that are still effective—to fight deadly pathogens.
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