Newly Published
Review Article  |   August 2018
Why Money Alone Can’t (Always) “Nudge” Physicians: The Role of Behavioral Economics in the Design of Physician Incentives
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Miami Health System (D.A.L.), Department of Anesthesiology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida (L.F.R.); Department of Health Sector Management and Policy (M.T.F.), Department of Sociology (M.T.F.), and Department of Management Science (H.S.G.) and Center for Health Sector Management and Policy (S.G.U.), School of Business Administration, University of Miami, Miami, Florida; and the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital Center for Patient Safety, Miami, Florida (L.F.R.). Current position: Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of California Davis, Sacramento, California (D.A.L.).
  • Submitted for publication February 13, 2018. Accepted for publication June 19, 2018.
    Submitted for publication February 13, 2018. Accepted for publication June 19, 2018.×
  • Part of the work presented in this article has been presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists Practice Management 2017 conference, in Grapevine, Texas, January 27 to 29, 2017.
    Part of the work presented in this article has been presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists Practice Management 2017 conference, in Grapevine, Texas, January 27 to 29, 2017.×
  • Acknowledgments: The authors are grateful to Maureen Fitzpatrick, M.S.N., A.R.N.P.-B.C., Department of Anesthesiology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, and Rudolph Davis, B.S., Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, for their assistance with a comprehensive literature review.
    Acknowledgments: The authors are grateful to Maureen Fitzpatrick, M.S.N., A.R.N.P.-B.C., Department of Anesthesiology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, and Rudolph Davis, B.S., Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, for their assistance with a comprehensive literature review.×
  • Research Support: Support was provided solely from institutional and/or departmental sources.
    Research Support: Support was provided solely from institutional and/or departmental sources.×
  • Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.
    Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.×
  • Correspondence: Address correspondence to Dr. Lubarsky: Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management, University of California Davis, 4150 V Street Suite 1200 PSSB, Sacramento, California, 95817. dalubarsky@ucdavis.edu. Information on purchasing reprints may be found at www.anesthesiology.org or on the masthead page at the beginning of this issue. Anesthesiology’s articles are made freely accessible to all readers, for personal use only, 6 months from the cover date of the issue.
Article Information
Review Article / Practice Management
Review Article   |   August 2018
Why Money Alone Can’t (Always) “Nudge” Physicians: The Role of Behavioral Economics in the Design of Physician Incentives
Anesthesiology Newly Published on August 2, 2018. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002373
Anesthesiology Newly Published on August 2, 2018. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002373
Abstract

Behavioral economics seeks to define how humans respond to incentives, how to maximize desired behavioral change, and how to avoid perverse negative impacts on work effort. Relatively new in their application to physician behavior, behavioral economic principles have primarily been used to construct optimized financial incentives. This review introduces and evaluates the essential components of building successful financial incentive programs for physicians, adhering to the principles of behavioral economics. Referencing conceptual publications, observational studies, and the relatively sparse controlled studies, the authors offer physician leaders, healthcare administrators, and practicing anesthesiologists the issues to consider when designing physician incentive programs to maximize effectiveness and minimize unintended consequences.