Show: May 19, 2013:
- Why are employers offering health care incentives?
- Do the benefits of sun exposure outweigh the risks?
- How do we balance?
- Are minimalist running shoes safe?
- Does spirituality affect mental health treatment outcomes?
- How close are researchers to regenerating infant hearts?
- How do kidney exchanges work?
- View all topics for the week
Why are employers offering health care incentives?
Interview: Aaron Carroll, M.D., M.S., associate professor of pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine; director, Center for Health Policy Professionalism Research.
Sound Medicine" health care policy analyst Aaron Carroll, M.D., M.S., weighs in on the actions employers are considering to reduce health care costs. Some companies have begun offering incentives like gym memberships to employees who lose weight; others have raised the cost of insurance for those who smoke. Some, like Honeywell, fine employees up to $1,000 for an elective procedure if they donít seek a second opinion. According to Dr. Carroll, the companies are offering incentives in hopes of avoiding future costs caused by heart attacks from obesity, for instance, or smoking-related illnesses. But while losing weight or quitting smoking may reward the individual, the company may not save if the employee leaves in a few years, with the insurance savings lost to another employer.