Nudges in Health Care

Nudges are a difficult topic to broach. Compared to other health care topics, they are small and, by nature, non-coercive (or only partially coercive). Almost any nudge, taken in isolation, can seem either reasonable or innocuous or both to those of varying ideological persuasions. It is in the aggregate, or in their secondary effects, where nudges may become expensive and disruptive. This chapter will first discuss the streams of thought that contribute to the creation and use of nudges with specific examples of where they exist in health care policy. Following this overview is a series of questions that looks at the validity of using nudges in policy.