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October 2018

Nudging Physicians to Reduce Quetiapine Prescribing Using Medicare Letters: Following the Letters of the Law?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
  • 2UW Medicine Value and Systems Science Lab, Seattle, Washington
  • 3Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 4Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia
  • 5Corporal Michael J. Cresencz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(10):989-990. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.1843

Physician decision making is an integral part of nearly every aspect of health care delivery. However, because physicians must synthesize large and growing amounts of clinical data and medical evidence,1 they frequently rely on heuristics (mental shortcuts) that may lead to predictably irrational decisions. Consequently, improving the value of health care may hinge in part on the ability to improve clinical decision making, particularly where medical evidence clearly identifies appropriate choices. This is the premise behind physician-focused nudges, or interventions that leverage insights from behavioral economics to deliberately adjust how information is presented to physicians to improve their choices.

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