Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wellness Programs Don't Save Money

If there are any "savings" for an employer to gain from wellness, it is in the form of cost-shifting more premium or claims (penalties) onto sicker employees. But insofar as that is what is really being done, the EEOC has recently demonstrated as described below, they are eager to administer legal discipline.  Be careful in falling for the wellness ruse, it could backfire on you.  

This is from Austin Frankt over at the Incidental Economist:
We’ve said it before, many times and in many ways: workplace wellness programs don’t save money. 
Last week, on the Health Affairs blog, Al Lewis, Vik Khanna, and Shana Montrose said so too, adding some nuance we have not included in our [prior posts]. ...
Here is an excerpt from Lewis, Khanna and Montrose's work:
In sum, with tens of millions of employees subjected to these unpopular and expensive programs, it is time to reconfigure workplace wellness. Because today’s conventional programs fail to pay for themselves and confer no proven net health benefit (and may on balance adversely affect health through over-diagnosis and promotion of unhealthy eating patterns), conventional wellness programs may fail the Americans with Disabilities Act’s “business necessity” standard if the financial forfeiture for non-participants is deemed coercive, as is alleged in employee lawsuits, against three companies, including Honeywell