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Something in Wellness that Actually Works (Pinch Me)

Do you know whether heartburn pills are safe for long-term use?

Yes, I know it’s not always about me (my ex-wife was quite clear about that) but we did just receive our first “review” of Quizzify from a major, highly respected healthcare blogger, Paul Levy, former CEO of Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. (Disclosure: I do know Mr. Levy socially, but nowhere near well enough to convince him to lie for me.)

Because there are so many new scams in workplace wellness to expose (and every time we expose one, they come up with another, this being our favorite example of invalidity-meets-Whack-a-Mole), we don’t have time for a lot of selfies.

Today is one of those rare exceptions.  Here is the summary of the review:

“If I were in the corporate world, I’d seriously consider offering this service to my employees.  The messages learned are much more likely to have a beneficial effect on people’s health and on their use of the health care system than a lot of the more invasive programs being forced on employees.”

 If anyone out there would like to play the Launch Quiz — the first step in creating a culture in which employees understand that wise and cost-effective choices in healthcare extend way beyond eating broccoli, obsessing with cholesterol, walking 5000 steps, and buckling seat belts — let me know and I’ll set you up.


Update January 12: Here is a comment submitted on the original blog. We think it captures the essence of workplace wellness — the bewilderment by an employee that HR thinks these things could possibly save money, and the running joke in this person’s office that the program has become:

My employer has added a wellness program. I’m not sure if its the same category as the Safeway ones that you refer to, but what it does is give funds to a health-care account for completing programs run by an outside wellness company about healthy eating, meditation, stress, etc. You can get $100 or so in real money (spendable only on health care) for doing these, up to a capped amount. So the cost to the company is this money plus whatever the 3rd party charges to run it.

If the research shows these to be effective, I can’t imagine how. People joke about going “click, click, click” until they’ve completed as much of a program as they are allowed that day, then coming back a day or two later for more.



In the immortal words of the great philosopher Pat Benatar, hit me with your best shot.

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