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Kevin Volpp, Washington Post, Abu Dhabi Health Incentives

  • Friday, 16 November 2012

LDI Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) Kevin Volpp is featured in a Washington Post article about Abu Dhabi's aggressive national plan to pay citizens to stay healthy. It is the world's first such state-sponsored health incentives plan.

Abu Dhabi, the second largest city of the United Arab
Dan Polsky
Emirates, is, according to Fortune Magazine, the wealthiest city in the world. It also has one of the world's highest rates of Type 2 diabetes. The government plans to work with disease-management companies to offer airline miles, discounts on groceries and cash to residents who adjust their lifestyle to lower their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and related heart conditions.

The Post said some economists warn that changing habits with monetary and product-based incentives may be difficult in a population as wealthy as Abu Dhabi's. Volpp, MD, PhD, said success of such an initiative may depend on how the programs are designed and how frequently the rewards are doled out, and whether they are in the form of penalties, discounts or checks in the mail.

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