Medicaid Incentive Programs To Encourage Healthy Behavior Show Mixed Results To Date And Should Be Studied And Improved
ABSTRACT In September 2011 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded $85 million in grants to ten states to test financial incentive programs to encourage healthy behavior among Medicaid enrollees with chronic diseases. There is little published evidence about the effectiveness of such incentives within the Medicaid program. We evaluated the available research from three earlier Medicaid incentive programs and found mixed results. On the one hand, in Florida only about half of the $41.3 million in available credits was "claimed" by enrollees between 2006 and 2011. On the other, Idaho's incentive program was credited with improving the proportion of children who were up-to-date on well-child visits. Our findings suggest that Medicaid incentive programs should be designed so that enrollees can understand them and so that the incentives are attractive enough to motivate participation. Medicaid incentive programs also should be subject to rigorous evaluation to more clearly establish their effectiveness.
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ABSTRACT: Insurance expansions under the Affordable Care Act raise concerns about primary care access in communities with large numbers of newly insured. We linked individual-level, cross-sectional data on adult preventive care utilization from the 2011-2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to novel county-level measures of primary care appointment availability collected from an experimental audit study conducted in 10 states in 2012 to 2013 and other county-level health service and demographic measures. In multivariate regressions, we found higher county-level appointment availability for privately insured adults was associated with significantly lower preventive care utilization among adults likely to have private insurance. Estimates were attenuated after controlling for county-level uninsurance, poverty, and unemployment. By contrast, greater availability of Medicaid appointments was associated with higher, but not statistically significant, preventive care utilization for likely Medicaid enrollees. Our study highlights that the relationship between preventive care utilization and primary care access in small areas likely differs by insurance status.01/2015; 72(2):1077558715569541. DOI:10.1177/1077558715569541
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ABSTRACT: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) increased the maximum rewards that group health insurance plans (including employers who self-insure) may offer in their wellness programs, with the goal of incentivizing healthy behaviors such as weight loss among the obese and smoking cessation. In this essay, I describe the history and intention of such programs, and make the following three points: (1) In principle, incentivizing healthy behavior can reduce external costs and help people with time-inconsistent preferences stick to their resolutions; (2) there are problems with the design of this portion of the ACA that will limit its effectiveness in achieving these goals; and (3) financial rewards for healthy behaviors have a mixed record to date, and thus many practical design features need to be resolved to improve the effectiveness of such programs.Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 06/2014; 33(3). DOI:10.1002/pam.21767 · 0.93 Impact Factor