Wellness programs don’t incentivize enough to prevent chronic disease: HealthMine


Wellness programs don’t incentivize enough to prevent chronic disease: HealthMine


The majority of wellness programs do not provide an incentive for key health behaviors that can help members prevent or identify chronic disease, according to a survey from HealthMine.

The survey, which questioned 750 insured consumers enrolled in a wellness program, found that 80 percent of the programs do no incentivize cancer screenings, and 52 percent do not offer incentives for fitness and weight loss programs.

The majority of wellness programs which participants said were not incentivized financially were disease management/medication adherence at 83 percent, cancer screenings at 80 percent, smoking cessation at 66 percent, biometric screening at 59 percent and health risk assessment at 53 percent.

HealthMine said that even though 85 percent of respondents had said wellness programs are meaningful to them and help them manage their health, 41 percent report they haven’t earned all of their financial incentives or completed all of the health actions recommended for them.

When questioned why they hadn’t received all of their incentives or completed all of their health actions, 48 percent of respondents agreed they were already doing what they need to be healthy, 25 percent agreed they needed more or better reminders, 25 percent agreed the incentives were inconvenient, 20 percent agreed the programs weren’t meaningful to them and 20 percent agreed they were concerned about the security and privacy of their data.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 6 of adults do everything they can to ward off chronic disease. The CDC identified five behaviors people could participate in to reduce the likelihood of developing a chronic condition, like heart disease or cancer. But less than half wellness programs offer incentives for these and other important recommended health actions.

When asked what kind of incentive is offered by their wellness program, 33 percent answered with a reduced health premium, 31 percent said gift cards and 20 percent said cash.
The survey found that cash was the most motivating incentive to complete a screening or recommended activity.

Consumers were asked if there were certain health actions they would take without any incentive. Results are below.

Bryce Williams, chief executive officer and president of HealthMine added: "Behavior change is hard and requires frequent reinforcement.

“Incentives can play an important role in the adoption or transformation of health behaviors. But, the design and delivery of an incentive is often more important than its size.

"Successful wellness programs offer a combination of dynamic incentives--including variable rewards and loss aversion."

Healthmine, Survey, Wellness program, Risk management, Healthcare, US