This Issue Brief describes the development and use of a new web-based IT platform, Way to Health, to deliver and evaluate behavioral interventions to improve health.
This Issue Brief summarizes work testing two novel interventions—one-on-one peer mentoring (a “buddy system”) and financial incentives—designed to help patients with consistently poor diabetes control achieve better results. In this case, a telephone buddy makes a big difference.
The application of behavioral economics to health and health care has captured the imagination of policymakers across the political spectrum. The idea is that many people are irrational in predictable ways, and that this both contributes to unhealthy behaviors like smoking and holds one of the keys to changing those behaviors. Because health care costs continue to increase, and a substantial portion of costs are incurred because of unhealthy behaviors, employers and insurers have great interest in using financial incentives to change behaviors.