From the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Industry collaboration produces guidance for the use of
outcomes-based incentives in employer-sponsored workplace wellness programs
A forward-thinking new initiative by a group of leading health care organizations
has produced the industry’s most consensus-driven guidance for the use of
outcomes-based incentives in employer-sponsored wellness (or health management)
The guidance is intended to help ensure that worksite wellness programs
utilizing such incentives are effective and fair to all employees, and improve
health results. Outcomes-based incentives are expected to become more common in
the workplace as a result of provisions in the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act — which encourage their use.
The guidance, which was published in the July issue of the Journal of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is unique in that it represents
the collaborative thinking of six well-respected health care organizations with
diverse constituencies and roles in the health care system.
The guidance, titled Guidance for a Reasonably Designed, Employer-Sponsored Wellness Program Using Outcomes-Based Incentives, incorporates research, practical application, policy
perspectives, and a set of basic considerations for employers who want to
maximize the health improvement results of their incentive programs while also
providing proper protection for employees against discrimination, unaffordable
coverage, and loss of access to health care.
The participating organizations are the Health Enhancement Research Organization,
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, American Cancer
Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American
Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association. Together, they
represent a wide range of stakeholders, including patients, care providers, and
the business community.