Rewarding Bad Behavior

Why are we paying people for acting the wrong way? Although phrased more politely, this in essence was the question raised by a caller on a recent HCPro audioconference that I moderated. The conference was focused on ways to get members to abandon bad habits and to lead healthier lives, so it's little wonder that for the past 45 minutes we had been discussing the use of incentives to get smokers to kick the habit, or to encourage members who were overweight to lose some of the extra pounds. I could hear his frustration, and he's not the first person I've heard raise the issue.
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