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Penn-CMU Roybal Center Retreat
September 13 & 14, 2012, Congress Hall, Cape May, N.J.

Congress Hall
Cape May New Jersey's historic Congress Hall was the site of the 2012 Penn-CMU Roybal Retreat, an annual event bringing together research scholars from both Penn's LDI Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, and Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Behavioral Decision Research. Both centers are partners in the larger Roybal program that conducts research on health-related behavioral economics and aging.
The ballroom of the former summer White House for Victorian-era U.S. Presidents features a painted checkerboard floor. For this conference, the room was ringed with a long U-shaped arrangement of tables.
George Loewenstein, PhD, Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Center for Behavioral Decision Research, emphasized the importance of innovative vigilance. "So often we see a ten year rut as everyone asks the same questions and gets the same answers."
Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), provided an update on the 'Way to Health' automated research infrastructure and patient engagement system.
Aditi Sen, a fourth-year doctoral student in Penn's Department of Health Care Management and Economics, presented the results of a 'Way to Health' research project that studied the use of financial incentives to increase home-based health monitoring among diabetics.
Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE, Deputy Director of CHIBE reviewed the latest activities at the new FIELDS (Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science) center where behavioral economics principles are being applied to end-of-life decision making. (See video excerpt.)
Mary McKenzie, MD, Penn Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellow with a masters degree in Death and Society, discussed her CHIBE-funded research of stress and end-of-life decision making. She noted that 30% of Americans will need someone else to make end-of-life decisions for them.
Carmen Guerra, MD, Associate Professor at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine proposed a study of how financial incentives might be used to increase colonoscopy screenings among the predominantly African American population of West Philadelphia. She has previously helped establish a 'patient navigator' program that recruits local residents for colorectal cancer screenings. (See video excerpt.)
Harald Schmidt, PhD, CHIBE Research Associate, proposed studying the ethics of using financial incentives as a colonoscopy recruitment tool. "Should we focus on the highest uptake rates for colonoscopies or on the most informed decision making?" He pointed out that there is a risk of 1 death in 10,000 colonoscopy subjects and 30 cases of perforated colons per 10,000 procedures. (See video excerpt.)
Joanna Hart, MD, Critical Care Fellow working with the new CHIBE FIELDS program, proposed a research project that would study intensive care unit end-of-life communications between patients or their surrogates and clinicians. (See video excerpt.)
David Asch, MD, MBA, who is stepping down as Executive Director of LDI to become Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Innovation, spoke of the challenges and research opportunities that new organization will face.
Catherine Maclean, PhD, Assistant Professor in Penn's Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, proposed a study of how incentives may motivate employees to select healthier types of restaurants for lunch or select healthier foods in workplace cafeterias.
Lindsay Jubelt, MD, RWJF Clinical Scholar at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine, reviewed the research project she is designing to study how default options may influence the rate at which people lose weight at Stickk.com, a contract commitment website.
The conference dinner at Congress Hall was something of a mini research project -- attendees could preselect specific meals or go with a default. Most went with the default, making breast of chicken the major behavioral trend.
Out on the beach the following morning, CHIBE's Laurie Norton was the drill sergeant organizing the team-building "CHIBE Beach Olympics" of volley ball, bocci ball, cornhole beanbag tossing and miniature golf. See the photo page of CHIBE beach sports in action.
Group shot in front of Congress Hall: Penn-CMU Roybal retreat attendees. Click to DOWNLOAD a high-resolution copy of this image.


CHIBE Olympics

See Photos of Beach
Sports Action


Scott Halpern

New FIELDS End-of-Life Decision Science Center

Joanna Hart

End-of-Life Decisions in the ICU

Carmen Guerra

Financial Incentives for Colonoscopies

Harald Schmidt

Ethics of Financial Incentives for Colonscopies

Eric VanEpps

Six Non-Monetary Health Incentive Strategies

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