After years of uncertainty and turmoil, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has finally issued guidelines for employer sponsored wellness plans. And guess what? The guidelines closely follow the lead of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The initial response from businesses and their organizational representatives was relief — since the EEOC had seemingly been heading in a direction quite opposite that which the White House had envisioned for wellness plans. The controversy focused on supposed differences in emphasis between PPACA and its supporters, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. For years, the EEOC appeared to be ready to boldly challenge wellness plans on the basis that they discriminated against certain protected employees.
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Wellness programs have certainly captured the imaginations of benefits managers, with an ever increasing number of companies offering one type or another. Yet engagement studies show that, in most cases, management is more enthusiastically embracing wellness plans than are employees.
Recent data culled from 562 consumers who work for companies with wellness plans offers at least a partial explanation: Covered employees expect plans to include true incentives. The survey from HealthMine found that three-quarters of respondents would engage more fully in a plan that included incentive levels, with rewards for achieving goals such as maintaining ideal weight, adhering to a drug regimen for addressing chronic diseases, and not smoking. More on this story: http://bit.ly/1zEs9zQ
A federal judge has rejected the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's request for an order temporarily barring Honeywell International Inc. from penalizing workers who refused to participate in its workplace wellness program. More on this story: http://bit.ly/1shbkTT
If successful, Cleveland Clinic's new functional medicine department could put the hospital out of business. But the innovative approach to teach patients how to avoid the hospital altogether is just the program that the world-renowned, non-profit academic medical center wants to pursue, according to the Desert News National. More on this story: http://bit.ly/10kqksS