Penn Behavioral Economics Symposium Closes Seven-Year Research Program

Penn Behavioral Economics Symposium Closes Seven-Year Research Program

RWJF Chief Cites Field-Changing Impact of Scientists' Work
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The University of Pennsylvania LDI Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics' 2016 Behavioral Economics and Health Symposium was both a spotlight on the latest research work as well as the conclusion of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Donaghue Foundation funded program that began seven years ago. CHIBE played a lead role in the initiative whose goal was to explore the ways behavioral economics principles might be applied to health-related behaviors. Keynote speaker at the two-day affair in the Wharton School's Huntsman Hall was RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA (above).
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CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp MD, PhD (above, left), welcomed the audience that included researchers from 23 universities and 12 research-related foundations and centers. "A lot of what RWJF has done during these last seven years presaged what other funders are now doing with behavioral economics, like NIH, on a broader scale," Volpp said. "The Foundation's vision and dedication really paved the way for a lot of other entities to see the benefits of thinking about how behavioral economics can be used to improve health." Above, right, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey noted, "When we first looked at behavioral economics and the kind of bold thinking that was going on outside of health, we were intrigued by the idea. Seven years later, it's been a tremendous success, in large part due to the people who are in this room."
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RWJF Director Lori Melichar, PhD, pointed out that "seven years ago, very few researchers were doing behavioral economics work related to health. Back then, some of our colleagues said the concept was just 'hype.' But behavioral economics insights have now spread across the Foundation and inform several of our chief strategies." Melichar said RWJF now funds behavioral economics projects that "inform the structure of provider incentives and create practice environments that can improve provider performance and patient experience. We are also funding other work to apply these concepts to the improvement of health in communities across the U.S." Above, right, Kevin Volpp speaks about a recent article he authored with David Asch, MD, MBA, for the Quarterly Journal of Medicine about the expanding potential of health economics in health care.
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Greeting arriving participants at the breakfast tables (above, left) is Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, Deputy Director of CHIBE and Director of the Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science (FIELDS) program. Above, right, RWJF Senior Program Officer Deborah Bae, MPA, MBA, chats with Joelle Friedman, MPA, CHIBE Associate Director.
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In serious discussion (above, left) are David Asch, MD, MBA, Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation and Kevin Mahoney, Vice Dean for Integrative Services at the Perelman School of Medicine. Above, right, are Eric VanEpps, PhD, CHIBE Postdoctoral Research Fellow; Christina Roberto, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine; and John Cawley, PhD, Co-Director of Cornell's Institute on Health Economics, Health Behaviors and Disparities.
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One of 20 behavioral economists to present at the symposium, Cornell's John Cawley spoke on the impact of restaurant calorie labels on food choice. Above, right, in one of the symposium's brainstorming sessions, a table led by Kevin Volpp listens to Amber Bernato, MD, MPH, an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of Pittsburgh.
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Above, left, at another brainstorming table led by Lori Melichar, John Cawley makes a point. Above, right, Melichar charts out the table's ideas for new behavioral economics research projects.
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Above, left, gathered in a brainstorming session, are (l to r) Matthew Trujillo, PhD, RWJF Program Officer; Courtney Pinard, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; Daniella Meeker, PhD, Director of Clinical Research Informatics at the USC Keck School of Medicine; and Stacy Cloud, Grants Administrator at The Donaghue Foundation. Above, right, Trujillo charts the group's major points.
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In discussion are Abby Cofsky, MPH, RWJF Program Managing Director and Scott Burris, JD, Director of Temple University's Center for Health Law, Policy and Practice. Above, right, at their standing-room only brainstorming session are (l to r), Jeffrey Kullgren, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School; Jason Doctor, PhD, Director of Health Informatics at the University of Southern California Center for Health Policy and Economics; Anna Sinaiko, PhD, Economist and Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Jonathan Kolstad, PhD, Assistant Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy, University of California Berkeley; and Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Medicine at the Perelman School.
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Presenting their group's suggested ideas for new behavioral economics research projects (above, left) are Amol Navathe and (above, right) Shivan Mehta, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Medicine at the Perelman School.
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The above, left, group (l to r): Jack Huang, BA, student at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Anna Sinaiko, PhD, Economist and Research Scientist at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Jonathan Kolstad, PhD, Assistant Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy, University of California Berkeley; Aditi Sen, PhD, Assistant Professor Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins. Above, right, (l to r), Matthew Trujillo of RWJF; Justin White , PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Economics at the University of California San Francisco; Amber Bernato of the University of Pittsburgh; Anne Thornedike, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Lydia Aston, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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Speaking during a break are (above, left) Katherine Milkman, PhD, Wharton School Associate Professor of Operations and Information Management and Ted Robertson, MPA, Managing Director at ideas42, a behavioral design lab. Above, right, CHIBE's Scott Halpern with the University of Pittsburgh's Amber Bernato; and Mark Vogel , PhD, Director of Behavioral Science and Psychology at Genesys Health System.