Friday, February 19, 2010

Jury Still Out on Wellness Incentives?

A prominent British economist writes in the Health Cost Monitor that the evidence is "is decidedly mixed" on whether financial incentives to improve health-related behaviors actually work.

"Financial incentives for specific areas of medical compliance appear to show some promise, but there is insufficient good evidence that they work in any sustained way to alter broader lifestyle behaviors," writes Adam Oliver, RCUK Senior Academic Fellow in Health Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Oliver was also founding coeditor of the journal Health Economics, Policy, and Law.

"If they do not work, then they will clearly fail to reduce health care costs," he says. "The evidence is decidedly mixed."


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