Friday, December 07, 2007

Doctor My Eyes

Workplace Wellness programs are starting to look very attractive to many companies that are faced with impossible rises in the cost of benefits. Implementing a stop smoking plan, or providing incentivess for workers to live healthier can increase production, reduce sick days, and help to cut the overall healthcare costs of campany. But there are regulatory pitfalls that many don't understand, and find intimidating.
Here is a quick rundown from The Metropolitan Corporate Council on the steps employers need to take before embarking on such a program.

Nonetheless, employers contemplating a workplace wellness program are well advised to consider that conditioning a reduction in health care costs on satisfying a health-related goal, such as actual smoking cessation or meeting a certain cholesterol level, may be subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Nondiscrimination Rules and/or federal and state discrimination statutes. In addition, regardless of the structure contemplated, employers should consider requirements for wellness programs that may arise under the HIPAA Privacy Rule (45 C.F.R. 160,164).

Yeah, its a little on the dry side, but the information is well presented and worth knowing.

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