Paying, Not Penalizing, Patients to Stay Healthy

A study published in the New England Journals of Medicine evaluated the ability of financial incentives in promoting smoking cessation.

A collaborative study between academic health policy centers and CVS Caremark, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, evaluated whether financial incentives among CVS Caremark employees and their families and friends would promote smoking cessation. The randomized trial assigned people to either individual incentive programs or group incentive programs in the form of direct rewards or refundable deposits; additionally, trial partcipants had access to information resources and were provided smoking cessation aids.

The trial found that reward-based programs were more successful in sustaining abstinence from smoking over the 6-month monitoring period, than were deposit-based programs. Also, group-based programs seemed to work better than the individual approach.

Read the paper in the current issue of NEJM:

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