The Case for Giving Health-Care Consumers a ‘Nudge’

July 27, 2017
person having blood pressure taken

People often make poor health-care decisions. Would they make better decisions if the choices were presented in a different way?

That’s the idea behind so-called choice architecture, or presenting options in a way that subtly encourages people toward a desired decision. Based on psychology and behavioral economics, it aims to encourage people to make better choices without openly limiting their options.

Often referred to as a “nudge,” choice architecture is widely used in personal finance. To encourage people to invest in 401(k)s, for example, many employers automatically deduct contributions from paychecks unless a worker specifies otherwise.

Now, health-care providers and payers increasingly are incorporating principles of choice architecture in their dealings with patients and doctors, with the aim of cutting costs while preserving patient autonomy.

Read the full article at the Wall Street Journal. 

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