Leveraging insights from behavioral economics to increase the value of health-care service provision

J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Nov;27(11):1544-7. doi: 10.1007/s11606-012-2050-4. Epub 2012 Apr 5.


United States health expenditures continue to escalate at unsustainable rates. A recent movement around increasing price transparency has been suggested as a way of reducing the rate of increase in expenditures, with legislative efforts taking place at both the state and federal level. While this seems on the surface like a good idea, simply providing information on prices to physicians, particularly trainees, may not achieve the type of large changes in practice patterns that proponents expect. The manner in which price transparency is implemented will likely play a significant role in its effectiveness as an intervention. In this article, the authors review efforts of transparency and default options from other contexts and leverage insights from behavioral economics to provide recommendations for increasing the likelihood that price transparency will lead to physicians weighing the relative value of interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Economics, Behavioral*
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Physicians
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / economics*
  • United States