|Money Talks: Health Assessments Work With Right Incentives, Study Reports
Nothing more complicated than filling out a health
assessment form is proving to influence positive health behaviors.
That’s the conclusion of two Harvard professors’ research.
While completing a health assessment may have some
influence on healthy behaviors, the potential to affect behavior may be
greater if there is a financial incentive for completing the
assessment, if the assessment is directly linked to health coaching or
disease management programs, or if financial incentives are provided
for achieving risk reductions, the researchers found.
Haiden Huskamp and Meredith Rosenthal of Harvard
examined data from CIGNA for the period fromJanuary 2004 through June
2006 to draw their conclusions.
The research "points the way forward for employers and
health plans as they take steps to increase the impact and
effectiveness of workplace health and wellness programs," said Dr.
David Ferris, national medical director for clinical program
development at CIGNA.
In 2008 CIGNA began using a new health assessment
developed by the University of Michigan Health Management Research
Center. After competition, the assessed are linked to online health
coaching for nutrition, sleep, stress and physical activity.
Individuals are immediately offered coaching if analysis of their
health assessment indicates coaching may benefit them.
Individuals can also access health coaching over the phone if their employer chooses this service as part of its benefits plan.
A report on the research results was published in Health Affairs magazine.
For more information on CIGNA, visit www.cigna.com.