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Leading Health Groups Outline Guidance on Outcomes Based Incentives in Wellness Programs

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) programs. 

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. 

Posted by Cristie Travis at 4:31 PM

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