Physician Richard Young, keeper of the flame at American Health Scare, joins us in calling for an end to workplace wellness. Here are two terrific paragraphs from his essay:
The horrible result of the Baicker article was that it was used in the Obamacare fine print to justify the growth of workplace wellness programs, including penalizing employees who did not participate. This is a travesty of the highest order, as these employers continue to support overtesting, overtreatment, inappropriate utilization scarce resources, and a continued lack of support for primary care, as they continue to do nothing to disrupt the status quo of the U.S. health care system.
Unfortunately, I don’t hold out a lot of hope that the wellness programs will quickly die their necessary death. I have figured out that their primary benefit is to provide emotional cover for employee benefit managers. The CEOs and CFOs complain about the cost of health insurance inflation. They expect the benefits managers to do something. And so the benefits people hire consultants to recommend wellness programs. At least they can say to their bosses that they took action.