Theme Leader, Patient Engagement
Member of the NEJM Catalyst Leadership Board

Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD

Founders President’s Distinguished Professor; Director, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics
University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Volpp is the Founders President’s Distinguished Professor and the founding Director of the Leonard Davis Institute Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, Division Chief of Health Policy for the Department of Medical Ethics and Policy, and the Founders President’s Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and Health Care Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a board certified practicing physician at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.

Dr. Volpp’s work focuses on developing and testing innovative ways of applying insights from behavioral economics in improving patient health behavior and affecting provider performance. He has led projects with a variety of employers, insurers, health systems, and consumer companies in testing the impact of different behavioral economic strategies on behavior. He has competitively been awarded more than $60 million to lead or co-lead studies funded by the NIH; the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation; the CDC; VA Health Services Research and Development; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Hewlett Foundation; the Commonwealth Foundation; the Aetna Foundation; Mckinsey; CVS Caremark; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield; Hawaii Medical Services Association; Merck; Humana; Aramark; Weight Watchers; and Discovery (South Africa).

Dr. Volpp has published more than 200 articles, book chapters, and commentaries, and his work has been covered by media outlets worldwide. His work has served as the foundation for numerous widely implemented programs such as benefit design initiatives using financial incentives for smoking cessation among GE and CVS employees, a prescription refill synchronization program for Humana members, a simple health insurance plan called “Humana Simplicity”, and an approach to increase medication refills using enhanced active choice among CVS members.

Dr. Volpp’s work has been recognized by a number of awards including the Matilda White Riley Award for career achievement by the Office of Social and Behavioral Science at NIH and the Association for Clinical and Translational Science Distinguished Investigator Award for Clinical and Translational Science. Volpp is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Association of American Physicians (AAP), and the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences (IOM). He has served as an advisor to many different health plans, employers, and consumer companies and is a principal of the behavioral economic consulting firm VALHealth.

Steps for Deploying Nudge Unit in Health Care

Patient Engagement

Nudge Units to Improve the Delivery of Health Care

Key information and important choices are constantly being presented in health care. Yet often the frames or default options used are selected without attention to strategic goals.

Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Behavior Promotion Are the Best Uses of Health Social Networks

Patient Engagement

Patient Engagement Survey: Social Networks to Improve Patient Health

Social networks — both face-to-face and virtual — have been shown to positively impact behaviors such as weight loss and smoking cessation. Is the health care industry ready to more widely leverage this mechanism for increasing healthy behaviors among patients?

Biggest Challenges in Redesigning Health Care Panel Clip Still

Patient Engagement

Biggest Challenges to Redesigning Health Care

The real value in health care systems is in human interactions.

Is Mass Customization a Solution Panel Clip Still

Patient Engagement

Is Customization a Solution?

How can you scale customized care?

Patient Voice Roundtable Group

Patient Engagement

Insights Roundtable Report: Measuring What Matters and Capturing the Patient Voice

From a roundtable discussion and NEJM Catalyst survey, a framework for defining the patient voice and integrating it into care delivery.

Patient Engagement

Patient Engagement Survey: How to Hardwire Engagement into Care Delivery Processes

Technology and social networks can help, but nurses and care teams remain essential, say NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members.

Patient Engagement

Patient Engagement Survey: Technology Tools Gain Support — But Cost Is a Hurdle

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members say patient engagement technology tools must be patient-centric and are most useful for managing chronic disease.

Duffy02_panel_clip_still: Can the Uber Experience Apply to Patient Experience?

Patient Engagement

Can the Uber Experience Apply to Patients?

When it comes to improving patient experience for primary care appointments, we have to flip our thinking.

Stacey Chang and Sean Duffy Panel Clip Still: All Health Care Interventions Fail

Patient Engagement

All Health Care Interventions Fail

High-fidelity emotional relationships on the other end of an Internet connection are the way of health care’s future.

Patient Engagement

We Can Do Better

Imagine an alternative world where we could prevent patients at elevated risk from ever having a heart attack.

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