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What amount of reward drives a consumer to take a desired health behavior?

money and steth pic

A gentleman approaches an attractive woman and asks

“Would you be willing to sleep with me for $1 million.  She says ‘Yes.” He then asks “would you be willing to sleep with me for $100.” She responds, One hundred dollars? Do you think I am a prostitute?”  He retorts, “we’ve already established that. Now we are just negotiating price.”

So what dollar amount of incentive does it take for an individual to take a desired health behavior? We all have our price – or so to speak. A recent study by Aon Hewitt entitled the Consumer Health Mindset, sheds some light not only on the amount it takes, but also what percentage of people would never take the behaviors regardless of the amount.

According to the 2014 Aon Hewitt Consumer Mindset Survey, consumers indicated the dollar value of reward it would get them to take certain actions:

 

$1-50

$51 – 150

$151-300

$301

Have my blood drawn (during work hours) and tested for cholesterol, glucose and other important health measures

24%

13%

9%

8%

Participate in a medically sponsored program to help me manage a medical condition I have

21%

13%

8%

10%

Participate in fitness program two or three days/week or one hour during non-work hours

20%

16%

10%

12%

Talk to a health coach (during work hours) to create a plan for lifestyle changes to maintain or improve my health and have periodic check-in

24%

16%

8%

9%

Complete a confidential 15- to 20-minute online questionnaire (during work hours) that asks about my health and lifestyle

35%

14%

7%

8%

Participate in a healthy eating or weight management program

21%

17%

11%

12%

Participate in a company competition for weight loss, physical activity or other health-related outcome or activity

22%

17%

12%

14%

Consumers also indicated which behaviors they would do just for the benefit of doing it and things they would never do regardless of reward value:

 

Would Do Just for Benefit of Doing It

Would Never Do Regardless of Value

Have my blood drawn (during work hours) and tested for cholesterol, glucose and other important health measures

38%

9%

Participate in a medically sponsored program to help me manage a medical condition I have

36%

11%

Participate in fitness program two or three days/week or one hour during non-work hour

32%

10%

Talk to a health coach (during work hours) to create a plan for lifestyle changes to maintain or improve my health and have periodic check-in

30%

13%

Complete a confidential 15- to 20-minute online questionnaire (during work hours) that asks about my health and lifestyle

28%

9%

Participate in a healthy eating or weight management program

24%

15%

Participate in a company competition for weight loss, physical activity or other health-related outcome or activity

20%

15%

In the end, there are many solutions being developed every day to help patients and providers.  But in the end, doesn’t it all come down to patient and provider behavior. If we build these solutions and they are not used, used as intended or used enough, won’t they fail?  If we built it, we must make them come.  The ability to determine the level of effort of the action and the associated dollar value of incentive it takes to drive that action is likely to become a science unto itself.

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