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Key Influencers Convene in Chicago to Advance Behavioral Economics in Healthcare and Improve Health Outcomes and Lower Costs

Chicagoans Spend the Third-Highest on Healthcare in the United States

CHICAGO, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX) Center for Cost-Effective Consumerism, the American Benefits Council and Hewitt Associates along with other leading health and policy organizations are continuing the momentum of the ignite09 symposium, a groundbreaking series of symposiums on the convergence of behavioral economics and healthcare, by bringing the conversation to Chicago. This invitation-only event is being held today at the University of Chicago and unites key decision makers and innovators in healthcare; top academics in business, medicine and economics; HR executives from leading companies in the food industry, healthcare and other industries; and government leaders.

"We believe it is very important to continue the ignite09 symposium conversation series here in Chicago, especially since a recent report highlighted that a typical family of four in Chicago is spending an average of $19,008 a year on healthcare, which is the third-highest in the country," Bob Nease, Chief Scientist, Express Scripts. "Attendees at the ignite09 symposium will continue the dialogue that began in the nation's capitol and then moved to San Francisco about America's existing and emerging healthcare problems and discuss real solutions made possible by applying the principles of behavioral economics to healthcare."

This solution-oriented symposium will draw on the insights of behavioral economics experts and focus on providing attendees with the knowledge and tools needed to improve health outcomes and lower costs, focusing specifically on the health care issues and organizations in the Chicago area.

"While it has been determined that monetary incentives alone won't improve employees' health decisions, they do have the desire and confidence to play an active role in managing their health," said Cheryl Larson, Vice President, Midwest Business Group on Health, an ignite09 symposium strategic partner. "The value of applying behavioral economics to healthcare is being heard all across the country and analyzing this concept specific to Chicago employers will have an unquestionable benefit for all."

"Interest in behavioral economics is growing tremendously across the country and it intersects with the critical national debate now underway in Washington, D.C. on reforming the health care system," said James Klein, President, American Benefits Council. "Over the course of the previous two symposia, we explored strategies for guiding individuals to make informed and cost-effective healthcare choices that we will further develop here in Chicago."

Classical economics assumes that people are rational and act in their own self interest; behavioral economics looks at the real world, focusing not on how people ought to act but instead on how they do act. Behavioral economics draws heavily from the principles of social and cognitive psychology to analyze the way people make decisions. A deeper understanding of why people do what they do empowers individuals and organizations to more effectively promote positive change in healthcare to improve outcomes while lowering cost.

"The ignite09 symposia focus on strategies that help to overcome many of the cost issues employers and individuals face today. These behavioral strategies are essential to lowering costs and ensuring better health outcomes," said Jeff Munn, Principal, Health Management Practice, Hewitt Associates.

Symposium speakers include:

  • Dan Ariely, PhD James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics; Duke University
  • Alan Garber, MD, PhD Henry J. Kaiser Jr. Professor; Professor of Medicine; Director, Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research; Director, Center for Health Policy; Stanford University
  • Bob Ihrie, MBA Senior Vice President, Employee Rewards and Services; Lowe's
  • James A. Klein President; American Benefits Council
  • David Laibson, PhD Harvard College Professor and Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics; Harvard University
  • Cheryl Larson Vice President; Midwest Business Group on Health
  • Jeff Munn Principal, Health Management Consulting Practice; Hewitt Associates
  • Bob Nease, PhD Chief Scientist; Express Scripts
  • Larry Zarin Senior Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communications; Express Scripts

Strategic partners for the symposium include Midwest Business Group on Health, Buyers Health Care Action Group, ConnectYourCare, The Mid-Atlantic Business Group on Health, National Business Coalition on Health, Network to Improve Community Health, Pacific Business Group on Health, Silicon Valley Employers Forum, St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition, Stanford University Center for Health Policy and The Leapfrog Group. For more information about the ignite09 symposium, please visit

About Express Scripts and the Center for Cost-Effective Consumerism

Express Scripts, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESRX) is one of the largest pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies in North America, providing PBM services to millions of consumers. Express Scripts serves thousands of client groups, including managed-care organizations, insurance carriers, third-party administrators, employers and union-sponsored benefit plans. Express Scripts is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. More information can be found at

Express Scripts established the Center for Cost-Effective Consumerism (the Center), which involves leading scientists from top universities working closely with its research and product development experts, to accelerate development of an advanced understanding of human behavior and of what strategies work best to motivate consumers to make optimal healthcare decisions. For more information on the Center, visit

About American Benefits Council

The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private-sector employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.

About Hewitt Associates

Hewitt Associates (NYSE: HEW) provides leading organizations around the world with expert human resources consulting and outsourcing solutions to help them anticipate and solve their most complex benefits, talent, and related financial challenges. Hewitt consults with companies to design and implement a wide range of human resources, retirement, investment management, health management, compensation, and talent management strategies. As a leading outsourcing provider, Hewitt administers health care, retirement, payroll, and other HR programs to millions of employees, their families, and retirees. With a history of exceptional client service since 1940, Hewitt has offices in 33 countries and employs approximately 23,000 associates who are helping make the world a better place to work. For more information, please visit

SOURCE ignite09 symposium

SOURCE ignite09 symposium
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