Podcast: When Do Incentives Work — and Why?

Wellness Works Conversations: Leading thinkers, practitioners and experts discuss the ideas that drive workplace wellness, health management, and healthy living.

How much money would your employer need to offer you to lose weight? Would money work? Or might other methods help you change your eating behaviors and take on a healthier lifestyle?

The question of incentives is often central in any workplace wellness program. How much is the right amount? How should the incentives be structured? What works best – carrot, stick or a little of both?

Finding the right formula can become a challenging combination of behavioral economics, health planning, and just plain human psychology.

Which is why we’re talking with Dr. Mitesh Patel.

Dr. Patel is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Health Care Management at the Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s also a Staff Physician at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and a faculty member at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation.

Among other areas, Dr. Patel focuses on leveraging “concepts from behavioral economics to design connected health approaches to improve individual health behaviors.” He has co-authored at least two reports this year on incentives and workplace wellness.