Paying patients to stay healthy, my take in the NY Times

Should patients be paid to stay healthy?

That’s the topic in today’s New York Times’ Room for Debate blog.

Included is my take, where I write that such programs need to be carefully implemented, so that all socioeconomic classes can benefit from financial incentives:

Those with more limited economic means may not have the ability to pay for gym memberships, smoking cessation drugs, or more nutritious food. Indeed, data from several studies confirm that those in lower socioeconomic classes have poorer smoking cessation rates and diets with less whole grains, lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables.

A financial incentive for health therefore has the potential of worsening the socioeconomic disparity between people who have the resources to become healthier, and those who don’t.

Enjoy the piece.