Tuesday, October 22, 2013: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Key Ballroom 5-6 (Hilton Baltimore)

How can we promote optimal decision-making in an aging population? Panelists in this special symposium will describe innovative applications of behavioral economics, bounded rationality and health services research. Thematic areas will include both end-of-life and preventive care decision-making, as well as facilitating informed choice in prescription drug coverage plans.

This symposium is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging.


  • Dominick L. Frosch, PhD, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


  • Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Yaniv Hanoch, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK
  • Carmen L. Lewis, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Speaker Biographies:

Dominick L. Frosch, PhD is a fellow in the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's Patient Care Program.  He oversees the foundation's activities related to advancing patient and family engagement in healthcare. Dr. Frosch also serves as associate professor of medicine at UCLA and consulting investigator at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute.  Dr. Frosch's clinical research has focused on shared decision-making and patient engagement for over a decade. He has developed and evaluated patient decision support interventions as well as explored pathways for implementing these in routine clinical practice in primary and specialty care.  Dr. Frosch's research has also explored the role of prescription drug advertising and other forms of population-based health communication in shaping people's health-related attitudes and behavior.  Dr. Frosch has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and chapters. He currently serves as deputy editor for the Journal of General Internal Medicine and previously served as Associate Editor for Health Psychology.

Scott D. Halpern, M.D., Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founding Director of the Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science (FIELDS) program, Deputy Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), and a practicing critical care medicine doctor.   Dr. Halpern’s research spans three central themes. First, he examines the allocation of scarce and costly healthcare resources, particularly ICU beds and services and solid-organ transplants. Specifically, he seeks to understand the causes and consequences of scarcity; how tradeoffs between the interests of individuals and the interests of groups could be made more fairly and efficiently; and how scarcity influences clinicians’ practices. He is particularly interested in testing the theory that constraints on clinicians’ time or tangible resources lead to more efficient, less costly care, and in comparing the outcomes achieved with different strategies to allocate scarce resources.   Second, he examines how principles of behavioral economics, including framing effects, default options, forced active choice, and financial incentives, may be applied optimally to improve patients’ decisions related to end-of-life care, smoking, food purchases, and other health-related behaviors. In this regard, he tests ways to harness the biases and heuristics that normally plague human decision making, and to instead direct them towards the promotion of key health outcomes.  Third, Dr. Halpern explores ways to improve the efficiency and patient-centeredness of randomized clinical trials. Here, he tests novel methods for improving enrollment rates in trials in ways that balance the needs of public health promotion with the needs of protecting vulnerable research participants. He also compares the virtues of different outcome measures in randomized trials, seeking to identify outcomes that augment statistical precision while accurately reflecting patient-centered care.  Dr. Halpern’s research is supported by the National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Aging, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Heart Association, and the Otto Haas Charitable Trust.  He has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine or JAMA. His awards include the Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar Award in Bioethics (2008), the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award from AcademyHealth (2011), and a Young Leader Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2012) which recognized 10 Americans aged 40 or under “who offer great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all Americans.” He has consulted on ethical and scientific matters for the NIH, CDC, UNOS, The World Bank, and two Advisory Committees to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.  He lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA with his wife, Analisa, and two daughters, Zoe and Cassidy.

Yaniv Hanoch,PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK
Yaniv Hanoch, PhD, is an associate professor at the school of psychology, University of Plymouth. His research interests include medical decision making, risk taking, and risk communication among diverse set of populations. 

Carmen L. Lewis, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Dr. Carmen Lewis is a practicing general internists and a health communication researcher with expertise in cancer screening and prevention and medical decision making.  Her content expertise is focused specifically on decision making in elderly patients with multi-morbidities.   As a part of the recently awarded AHRQ Center of Excellence in Preventive Services, she is the principal investigator on the project entitled “Improving Appropriate Colorectal Cancer Screening in Elderly Patients”. The purpose of this research is to determine the efficacy of a patient decision support intervention on appropriate colorectal cancer screening in patients ages 70 to 85.  She has served as the principal investigator for the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making supported research to implement decision support interventions since 2009 and as a co-investigator since 2007.   Additionally, she is co-principal investigator on an ARRA award through Health and Human Services to test the effect of decision support on prostate cancer screening and treatment decision making.

Dominick Frosch, PhD , Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE , Yaniv Hanoch, PhD and Carmen L. Lewis, MD, MPH