CHIBEblog

Employers Take Note: Premium-Based Incentives For Weight Loss Don’t Work

By CHIBEblog

Randomized Trial Finds No Effects For Employees A new study casts doubt on the effectiveness of reducing health insurance premiums as a way to encourage employees to lose weight. LDI Senior Fellow Mitesh Patel and his team, in a randomized controlled trial, test the effectiveness of a $550 incentive in promoting weight loss in obese employees. They found no difference in weight loss over the course of one year between the control group and three different kinds of incentive programs. It didn’t matter if the incentive was set up to provide premium discounts in the subsequent year, or in the…

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Amol Navathe

Physician Incentives – Making Performance Measures Meaningful

By CHIBEblog

How can we redesign physician incentives to improve their impact on behavior and performance?  Recently, the Commonwealth Fund published a round-up of expert views on reforming physician incentives, and one of the experts was LDI Senior Fellow Amol Navathe, MD, PhD. Navathe, a physician, health economist, and engineer, studies how to apply behavioral economic principles to physician financial and non-financial incentives. At a recent retreat, he described ongoing research on physician pay-for-performance measures; you can watch an excerpt here. And below is Amol’s Q & A from the Commonwealth Fund’s October 2015 issue of “Transforming Care“, reproduced here with permission.  Q:…

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Taking the Science of Financial Incentive Programs to a New Level: An Interview With Scott Halpern

By CHIBEblog

Last week, Scott Halpern, Kevin Volpp and colleagues published a groundbreaking study in the NEJM demonstrating that financial incentives work in helping employees quit smoking, and that the design of the incentives matters. The article prompted widespread media coverage, as did the announcement by study partner CVS Health that, next month, it will launch a financial incentive program for all its employees who use smoke or use tobacco of any kind. You can read an excellent summary of the study by Aaron Carroll on The Incidental Economist, and watch Dr. Volpp explain the study on Knowledge@Wharton. I posed a few…

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Healthy Nudges in the School Lunch Line

By CHIBEblog

In an online commentary in JAMA Pediatrics, Mitesh Patel and Kevin Volpp comment on a new school-based randomized trial that tested whether increased food palatability, combined with choice architecture, improved the diet of elementary and middle school children. The intervention had two phases: first, schools were randomized to a control or to receive a chef’s visit twice a week for seven months. After three months, schools were again randomized to a “choice architecture” intervention that included preferential placement of fruits, vegetables, and milk, and promotional signage and packaging. The result after seven months? Healthier food choices and consumption increased with…

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