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We Only Hear About Winners: A Note of Caution About Corporate Wellness Programs and Incentives

Source: The Economist, July 30, 2011

 In an overview article in The Economist about the rising use of financial incentives in corporate wellness programs and their potential to evolve into more penalty-based approaches, Kevin Volpp sounded a note of caution, commenting that companies rarely publish information about programmatic failures. In support of incentive programs however, the piece cited Volpp’s research at General Electric, which demonstrated how a wellness program using financial incentives nearly tripled the quit rate among smokers trying to quit: 9.4% of smokers who received incentives remained smoke-free after 18 months compared to 3.6% of similar smokers who did not receive incentives.

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