Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

The Future of Getting Paid to Be Healthy

ARCHIVES

When a 2014 portion of the Affordable Care Act comes into effect, employers will be able to use financial rewards and penalties to encourage healthier behaviors. Last week the Obama administration released its final rulesregarding these employer-based wellness programs. 

Still, critics are concerned that an annual premium adjustment isn't likely to change behavior, and will just end up penalizing those with poorer health.

According to Dr. Kevin Volpp, Director of theCenter for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, it isn't as simple as just paying someone for doing the right thing. People tend to respond to immediate, short-term rewards (e.g. the     satisfaction of eating one more piece of pizza) more readily than to delayed consequences (weight gain). The science of "behavioral economics" has found that when people are offered immediate incentives and penalties to do the healthy thing, they are more likely to make the right decision, sort of like having a swear jar for healthy living.

But not all incentives are created equal, and some behaviors are harder to change (e.g. quitting smoking) than others (taking your kid for a routine check up). The impact of an incentive depends a lot on how it is framed, and the context in which it's offered. 

Read more at The Atlantic.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.