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Are Wellness Incentives Fair?

Source:  Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2011 That was the question in a debate-style piece from the Los Angeles Times. According to Harold Schmidt, a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University, incentive programs to improve health behaviors are a good idea but poor implementation could lead to inequities, particularly if the incentive program is structured in a way that does not allow everyone equal potential for success. On the other hand, CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp conceded that while more research into optimal implementation is needed, wellness incentives have been shown to help people quit smoking and he proposed that such programs can help to align patients, employers and insurers toward the same goal: healthy patients.

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