Friday, December 19, 2014

The Sony Lesson for Employer Wellness Programs - Start Saving for Your Legal Defense Fund

41 Million Reasons Not to Implement an Employer Sponsored Wellness Plan

The recent hack of Sony Corp. -- in which health information on more than three dozen employees was stolen from the company’s servers -- is highlighting the amount of medical data proliferating outside of doctor’s offices in electronic form, and how vulnerable the records are to theft. Corporate wellness programs have become one of the biggest areas where health data is being collected, with hundreds of vendors amassing millions of pieces of intimate and potentially embarrassing health information on American workers. ... 
About 80 percent of large employers are running wellness programs that ask workers to share detailed health information on themselves, and about a third of them require employees to pay additional costs of as much as $1,600 a year for not participating....
Since 2009, there have been 1,187 incidents where health information protected by HIPAA was hacked, improperly disclosed, lost or stolen involving more than 41 million individuals, according to reports to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
The emphasis added is mine.