​ Incentives for Medicaid Patients Will Encourage Healthier Habits and Lower Costs

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Making incentives available will encourage healthier behavior and thus lower health care costs due to the reduction in chronic disease development. Health care costs have been on the rise due to the increase in poor outcomes of patients with chronic diseases (Blumenthall et al., 2013). Shroeder (2007) states in a lecture, “health is influenced by factors in five domains – genetics, social circumstances, environmental exposures, behavioral patterns, and health care” (p. 1221). Shroeder’s statement helps explain Foraker et al. (2011) study that Medicaid recipients have a higher chance of developing chronic disease and progress into clinical comorbidity and rehospitalization. This position paper will explain the theory behind incentives, …show more content…
13). Utilizing incentives to promote healthy behavior is what bridges the gap between knowing what to do and following through with an action (Hall, 2008). Incentives are what help people focus in on health risks and encourage the desire to make healthy behavior changes (Hall, 2008).
There are various reasons policy makers utilize incentives to promote health care use and healthy behavior; but, the ultimate goal is to combat increasing health care costs and the best way is to “help individuals get and stay healthy” (Greene, 2011, p. 580). Adler & Newman (2002) found that people of low socioeconomic status do not utilize health services as much as their counterparts with a higher socioeconomic status regardless of being eligible for Medicaid. Greene’s study examined the impact of Idaho’s Preventative Health Assistance (PHA) program on health service utilization that would prove to combat against non-utilization of preventative care. The goal for implementing this program was to “promote healthy behavior and responsible use of health care services” by introducing incentives (Greene, 2011, p. 582).
Greene (2011) observed whether or not there was an increase in children’s wellness visit rates in the first 2 years of implementation of PHA program compared to

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