Outcome-based and Participation-based Wellness Incentives: Impacts on Program Participation and Achievement of Health Improvement Targets

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Abstract

Objective:

This study examined whether worksite wellness program participation or achievement of health improvement targets differed according to four incentive types (participation-based, hybrid, outcome-based, and no incentive).

Methods:

The study included individuals who completed biometric health screenings in both 2013 and 2014 and had elevated metrics in 2013 (baseline year). Multivariate logistic regression modeling tested for differences in odds of participation and achievement of health improvement targets between incentive groups; controlling for demographics, employer characteristics, incentive amounts, and other factors.

Results:

No statistically significant differences between incentive groups occurred for odds of participation or achievement of health improvement target related to body mass index, blood pressure, or nonhigh-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Conclusions:

Given the null findings of this study, employers cannot assume that outcome-based incentives will result in either increased program participation or greater achievement of health improvement targets than participation-based incentives.

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