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"Automated hovering" in health care Print E-mail
Written by Harold Pollack   
Friday, 13 July 2012 10:42

If you are interested in novel approaches to improve health behaviors within and outside the formal healthcare system, there's no better group to watch than the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics.  If you are not familiar with their work, the July 5 New England Journal of Medicine perspectives piece, Automated Hovering in Health Care - Watching Over the 5000 Hours is worth a look.

Authors David Asch, Ralph Muller, and Kevin Volpp start out with a simple but powerful observation about how medical care (and systems outside medical care) must change to better promote health:

The dominant form of health care financing in the United States supports a reactive, visit-based model in which patients are seen when they become ill, typically during hospitalizations and at outpatient visits. That care model falls short not just because it is expensive and often fails to proactively improve health, but also because so much of health is explained by individual behaviors, most of which occur outside health care encounters. Indeed, even patients with chronic illness might spend only a few hours a year with a doctor or nurse, but they spend 5000 waking hours each year engaged in everything else - including deciding whether to take prescribed medications or follow other medical advice, deciding what to eat and drink and whether to smoke, and making other choices about activities that can profoundly affect their health.
The authors also note three developments which offer promise that our health system can do better:
  • Payment mechanisms that reward providers based on patient health outcomes
  • The proliferation of new computer and communication technologies
  • Deepening understanding of behavioral economics
Click HERE to read the entire blog post.

Excerpt from: The Incidental Economist

Contemplating health care with a focus on research, an eye on reform.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 07:49

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