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The Hidden Costs of Workplace Wellness: A Wake-Up Call for HR

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I’d encourage everyone to take a looksee at this article in Insurance Thought Leadership.  Not just because I wrote it (though that too) but because it will open your eyes to a whole series of hidden costs of the current wellness mania.

Among the problems of wellness is that it is a full-time job. Getting employees to eat more broccoli, weight-loss “challenges,” dealing with appeals and complaints, policing vendors, holding “health fairs” etc.  Not to mention all the math involved in incentives/penalties. Catching the cheaters putting the Fitbits on their poodles.  The list goes on and on.

As a result, a bunch of other things go unnoticed:

  • Massive numbers of unnecessary surgeries
  • Hospital errors
  • Dishonest PBMs
  • Employees getting snookered by providers (or demanding low-value care)
  • Opioid addictions

Addressing all of those is ultimately much more fruitful for you — and beneficial for employees — than wellness, but there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to do it all.  This article will get you started on a focus strategy…and then future articles will help you hone in on what really does make a difference.


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

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