Understanding the ways in which physicians, nurses and other clinicians make choices can impact the quality and value of patient care. The Health Policy Division’s clinician behavior team, led by primary-affiliated faculty member Amol Navathe, MD, Phd, works with insurance providers and policymakers to test and implement behavioral economics interventions in a clinical setting. Investigators look at how new and innovative models of physician payment, combined with social and financial incentives, can optimize the value of health care for patients. At the same time, researchers in our Division are exploring opportunities to use machine learning to provide better patient care by investigating patterns of clinician behavior in cases of sepsis. The work of the Division’s clinician behavior team has informed large and small-scale health care policy strategy, including the design of the Affordable Care Act.  

Physician Judgment and Machine Predictions: Understanding and Improving Medical Decisions Using Machine Learning 

Principal Investigator: Amol Navathe, MD, PhD

The main objective of this project is to improve upon human judgment in medicine. We will develop a program of research designed to facilitate the adoption of a sophisticated and powerful set of algorithms in clinical settings. Our initial studies will lay the conceptual and technical groundwork for testing and implementing interventions to improve decision making, and measuring the potential benefits including reducing low-value care and health disparities.

Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Behavioral Economics in Provider Incentive Design 

Principal Investigator: Amol Navathe, MD, PhD

Payers and provider groups are in need of novel approaches to structure provider incentives—both financial and non-financial—to better promote the delivery of quality, cost-effective care. In this project, we will study how behavioral economic principles can improve the effectiveness of physician incentives to deliver higher quality and lower cost care. We will test the application of specific behavioral economic principles including loss aversion; physician versus non-physician incentives; and variation in physician-organization relationships in incentive design and implementation.

Funder: The Commonwealth Foundation

HMSA Member Consumer Engagement 

Principal Investigator: Amol Navathe, MD, PhD 

The first objective of the study is to identify key social and behavioral determinants of health of individuals and communities in Hawaii and development an approach to design and test interventions to address gaps and improve patient engagement and health metrics. The second objective is to help HMSA align incentives of members’ health insurance benefit design and the provider payment system that is part of HMSA’s payment transformation.

Funder: Hawaii Medical Services Association