New Penn Medicine/Wharton Center to Study Health-care Financing

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Media Contact:Marc Kaplan | marc.kaplan@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-662-2560August 18, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) is partnering with the Leonard Davis Institute Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics of the University of Pennsylvania on a new initiative to be called the UPHS Center for Innovations in Health Care Financing.

The new Center will combine the expertise of faculty members at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School. It will test how insights from behavioral economics and health economics can improve patient health and reduce the rate of growth in health care costs. Among the issues to be studied are: incentives to patients and health care providers for improving chronic disease management; the ways health-related decisions are influenced by how choices are presented; incentives for health care providers to reduce preventable readmissions; and defaults in improving the efficiency of health care delivery, e.g., requiring patients to "opt out" of certain pre-determined choices.

The Center will be co-led by Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, director of the Leonard Davis Institute Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics and a professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and of health care management at the Wharton School, and Kevin B. Mahoney, senior vice president and chief administrative officer of the Health System and vice dean of Integrative Services at the Perelman School of Medicine.

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