Dr. Christina Dalton Awarded BCBSNC/WFU Pilot Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Dalton on the award of this grant.

The grant is provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) for the Reynolda Campus for up to $50,000.  The primary focus of this award is to support the development of high impact, externally funded creative research approaches to address current problems in modern health care in North Carolina.  Proposed research topics fit within the broad interests of BCBSNC in the area of health care/prevention for North Carolinians that includes but is not limited to:  Patient engagement in their health (healthy behaviors, interventions) and health care (treatment plan, health maintenance), Decision making/behavioral economics, Mental health, Environmental and cultural impact on health, Assessment strategies of success.

Here is the abstract for Dr. Dalton’s research:

Insurance plans increasingly feature pricing such deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, and donut holes, where an enrollee’s price changes after hitting a certain level of medical spending.  These features attempt to cut costs and force enrollees to plan spending over the year.  However, the efficacy of these pricing features depends on enrollees exhibiting forward-looking behavior by adjusting current spending in response to future prices. In the absence of forward-looking behavior, cost savings may be lost.  However, these features also provide enrollees with updated information on their spending levels when a prices change occurs.  In this project, I propose a new method to sort out the behavioral effects of these pricing features which overcomes traditional obstacles to analyzing these behaviors.  I will apply this method on data from private Medicare Part D plans.