Traditional economics suggests that the best way to maximize adherence is to give physicians financial incentives to improve adherence to all relevant drugs. Behavioral economics suggests that if you emphasize everything, then you may effectively be emphasizing nothing. Thus, performance may be maximized by giving physicians financial incentives for improving adherence in only a small number of relevant drugs. This allows physicians to focus their energy and reduces the probability that they will give up because they're overwhelmed. In other words, focused incentives may avoid the phenomenon called metric fatigue.
The goal of this pilot was to increase patient adherence to medication using incentives for physicians. We partnered with a health insurance company to design and implement an incentives program that pays physicians whose patients increase their adherence to oral diabetes medication, hypertension (ACEI or ARB) medication, and/or cholesterol (statins) medication.