The National Health Service this week released details that they are exploring the possibility of health cash plans to encourage healthier lifestyles. Many areas have already started up their schemes and early signs suggest that the results will be positive.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) advises the NHS in England and Wales. They suggest these measures may be able to help the NHS to combat issues such as obesity, smoking and drinking. They wish to gather additional evidence into the cash plan incentive for lifestyle changes, an idea described as “an idea whose time has come” before submitting their recommendations.
NICE have previously considered similar schemes, with one of the schemes being incentives to help beat addiction in drug abusers.
In an earlier interview with the BBC, NICE’s head of public health, Professor Mike Kelly said “We will want to see evidence that it provides value for money, there is a question over whether behavior is sustained when incentives end”.
In an interview with the BBC ahead of that event, Professor Mike Kelly, NICE’s head of public health, said: “We will want to see evidence that it provides value for money, there is a question over whether behavior is sustained when incentives end. Humans respond to incentives, we know that. What we now need to see is whether the economic behavior can be repeated in terms of health behavior. It is an idea whose time has come.”
Any recommendations for incentives to backing a scheme by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence covering England and Wales would still be around a year away.
Nice are working closely with a team of London-based experts from the London School of Economics, Queen Mary University and King’s College who are carrying out research into the issue alongside NICE. They are reviewing international evidence on cash plan incentives and are planning to carry out trials in the near future.