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Healthy Food Environments Pricing Incentives

Potential Public health Impact

The potential public health impact is high for this policy intervention.

Reach: The reach is broad, given that policy implementation will impact all employees and volunteers eating in the hospital cafeteria, as well as visitors.  Reach at FirstHealth’s Moore Regional Hospital is estimated to be 80% of employees. 

Effectiveness: Sales data provided indicate that the policy, along with supporting principles (e.g. marketing) have been effective at increasing the sales of healthier food items and decreasing the sales of less healthy items. 

Adoption: There is good adoption of this policy intervention in hospitals across NC.  At the time of review, there was full implementation (all five principles of HFE, including pricing) at thirty-six hospitals in NC. NCPP is funded by the Duke Endowment to have full implementation in more than 125 acute care hospitals within a three-year project period. 

Implementation: Implementation requires buy-in from staff and other stakeholders.  Implementing the pricing principle itself does not require many resources. It seems that it can be implemented at a relatively low cost.  While there may be initial revenue lost during the pricing transition, it is likely that this loss of revenue will be recovered and profits realized in successive quarters.  Given that the pricing principle is being implemented at other sites and has been implemented with success at FirstHeath’s Moore Regional Hospital, it seems reasonable to expect that the intervention could be implemented as intended in similar settings with similar infrastructure. 

Maintenance: It is not possible to assess the sustainability of this intervention due to its relative newness, but it seems reasonable to expect that after initial implementation, the intervention could be institutionalized over time with relative ease.