Delivery Innovation

The search for new and innovative ways to deliver health care more efficiently and effectively. 

Using Behavioral Economics to Design Physician Incentives That Deliver High-Value Care

Feb. 17, 2016

Ezekiel Emanuel, Peter Ubel, Judd Kessler, Ralph Muller, Amol Navathe, Pankaj Patel, Robert Pearl, Meredith Rosenthal, Lee Sacks, Aditi Sen, Paul Sherman, Kevin Volpp

In Annals of Internal Medicine, Ezekiel Emanuel and colleagues, including Judd Kessler, Ralph Muller, Amol Nayathe, and Kevin Volpp, discuss several principles of behavior economics, including inertia, loss aversion, choice overload, and relative social ranking. Designing physician incentives based on behavioral economics principles can improve their effectiveness through better alignment with performance goals. The study includes anecdotal examples of successful incentive programs that apply behavioral economics principles. Though the effectiveness of behavioral economic-based...

Effect of Financial Incentives to Physicians, Patients, or Both on Lipid Levels: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Research Brief
Jan. 15, 2016

To whom should financial incentives be targeted to achieve a desired clinical or health outcome—physicians or patients? Using insight from behavioral economics, a research team led by LDI Senior Fellows David Asch and Kevin Volpp sought to determine whether physician financial incentives, patient incentives, or shared physician and patient incentives are more effective in promoting medication adherence and reducing cholesterol levels of patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Though physician and patient incentives are becoming more common, they are rarely combined, and effectiveness of these approaches is not well-established. This study offers insight into what incentive structure leads to the greatest impact on health promotion. 

Cost Differences After Initial CT Colonography Versus Optical Colonoscopy in the Elderly

Nov. 19, 2015

Hanna Zafar, Jianing Yang, Katrina Armstrong, Peter Groeneveld

In Academic Radiology, Hanna Zafar and colleagues, including Peter Groeneveld, compare differences in total Medicare costs among asymptomatic elderly patients in the year after initial computed tomographic colonography (CTC) or initial optical colonoscopy (OC). In 2009, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stopped covering CTC screening among asymptomatic individuals based on the scarcity of data regarding differences in outcomes and costs between patients who received CTC and OC. Zafar and colleagues performed a retrospective cohort study of asymptomatic Medicare...

A Comparison of 2 Surgical Site Infection Monitoring Systems

Nov. 5, 2015

Mila Ju, Clifford  Ko, Bruce Hall, Charles Bosk, Karl Bilimoria, Elizabeth Wick

In JAMA Surgery, Mila Jiu and colleagues, including Charles Bosk, compare surgical site infection (SSI) monitoring systems, discrepancies in their implementation, and their relationship to infection rates. The researchers compared the National Health and Safety Network (NHSN), which is required by most states, and the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP), which is not. The study looks at how the NHSN or ACS NSQIP was implemented in 16 hospitals. It also observes rates of colon SSIs at these same hospitals. The data were collected...

Physician Incentives - Making Performance Measures Meaningful

Oct. 30, 2015

How can we redesign physician incentives to improve their impact on behavior and performance?  Recently, the Commonwealth Fund published a round-up of expert views on reforming physician incentives, and one of the experts was LDI Senior Fellow Amol Navathe, MD, PhD. Navathe, a physician, health economist, and engineer, studies how to apply behavioral economic principles to physician financial and non-financial incentives.

Uptake and Impact of a Clinical Diagnostic Decision Support Tool at an Academic Medical Center

Aug. 24, 2015

John S. Barbieri, Benjamin French, Craig A. Umscheid

In Diagnosis, John Barbieri, Benjamin French and Craig Umscheid investigate whether the use of a differential diagnosis (DDX) generator within a health care system leads to an increase in unnecessary testing and specialty consultation. By providing access to a broad differential, DDX generators can potentially help clinicians overcome cognitive biases by directing them to diagnoses they might not have considered otherwise. However, as the tool suggests numerous potential diagnoses, its use could result in an increase in unnecessary testing and specialty consultation, and...

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