The Case for Giving Health-Care Consumers a ‘Nudge’
The Case for Giving Health-Care Consumers a ‘Nudge:’ A law professor argues that people will make better choices if they’re asked the right way
For example, some states encourage child vaccinations by making it difficult for parents to opt out. They may require a doctor’s signature or a trip to a government office to sign an unvaccinated child up for school. Elsewhere, insurers and hospitals may encourage doctors to prescribe a generic drug over an expensive one by displaying the generic more prominently on a form.
While research suggests that choice architecture can be a powerful tool, it also raises concerns that it could be used by insurers and hospitals to advance their own interests rather than the patient’s.
That question is the among the issues examined in a recent book, “Nudging Health: Health Law and Behavioral Economics,” edited by Christopher T. Robertson, an associate dean and law-school professor at the University of Arizona; I. Glenn Cohen, professor at Harvard Law School and faculty director of the law school’s Petrie-Flom Center; and Holly Fernandez Lynch, executive director of the Petrie-Flom Center.
The Wall Street Journal spoke with Prof. Robertson about using choice architecture in health care. Read the edited excerpts here.bioethics fellowship health care reform health law policy public health regulation