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Do incentives impact preventive care?

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Vitality’s parent company Discovery conducted research looking at how patient incentives impact preventive care and encourage healthy behaviors to ultimately improve chronic disease management.

The study looked at Discovery health plan enrollees who voluntarily chose to pay approximately $15 a month to participate in an incentive program which rewards healthy behaviors using discounts on retail goods and travel.

It turns out that incentives did impact the odds of patients learning more about their cholesterol, blood sugar, health of their eyes and teeth, and participation in screenings such as prostate, mammograms and for sexually transmitted diseases. However, preventive care rates among those in the incentive program were still low.

This research supports the idea that patient incentive programs might be a mechanism for health plans to increase rates of preventive care and is just one of the many programs being conducted to determine the best evidence-based program to improve health and well-being for Vitality members.

For additional details, check out the peer-reviewed paper in the latest issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.

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