My latest over at the AcademyHealth blog:
I write about incentives to change behavior quite a bit. Sometimes, it’s to acknowledge that it might work. Other times, it’s to question if it might not. But there’s no question that incentives do have the potential to help people achieve goals. A new study in JAMA tries to tease out to whom we should be directing those carrots.
David Asch and colleagues recognize that financial incentives both to patients and physicians are being used more and more often. But research often is lacking on how those function in practice. They wanted to see how incentives could be used to help patients with a high level of cardiovascular risk lower their low-density lipoprotein (ie bad) cholesterol.
Go read to learn what they found, and what it might mean.