Better Physician Incentives Through Behavioral Economics

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<p>Health care organizations are increasingly entering into contracts that reward them for improved outcomes and reduced spending. But many struggle to develop effective incentive programs for physicians, who are the ones making key decisions that affect quality and cost.</p><p>For their Commonwealth Fund–supported study in the <em>Annals of Internal Medicine</em>, the University of Pennsylvania’s Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., and colleagues examined how the principles of behavioral economics can be used to create incentives that encourage doctors to follow evidence-based guidelines and deliver better-coordinated care to patients. Such concepts as loss aversion, choice overload, and relative social ranking, they say, can be as important as financial rewards in influencing physicians’ practice patterns and performance.</p> Read about the study