The financial incentives are getting tough in some areas and those with chronic conditions are especially concerned.  Do financial incentives lead to healthier behaviors overall?  Some do like stopping smoking but that is only one area and there’s a lot more to look at, like losing weight. 

When you look at the contents here and the video, where do you draw the line when imagethose who have high cholesterol readings and high blood pressure are charged more?  Some of this is genetic and it’s not like smoking or being over weight.  Certainly there are healthier behaviors that help but to hold someone to the line with chronic conditions that maybe have been there for years is a bit discrimination. 

We have data and analytics running on servers 24/7 that create criteria for us mere humans to meet and some is fair and some is not.  It’s all about money and we have almost started slipping over to where some of it is not making sense when especially in current economic times.  Chapter 8 of my Killer Algorithms series explores this a bit more and on top of everything else there’s a lot of flawed data out there.  So take into effect we have medical tests required and then you have a credit agency like FICO and CoreLogic that state they can use your credit score and tell others whether you would be a good candidate to be medication compliant?  You don’t have a chance and these are numbers and not relative to care. 

Consumers Lose More Privacy With New CoreLogic Credit Reporting–”Score” Marketed For Insurers and Employers To Gain Information-California Prohibits Potential Employers – From Using As Jan 1 - Killer Algorithms Part 8

The next thing you might wonder about is maybe do you work for a company that gets your free taxpayer data and sells it?  Companies are making billions doing this with little over head and yet our little human bodies need to be more perfect. 

So where does it go next, a colonoscopy test before one gets hired?  Once we figure out that yes there are improvements we can make and do it because we want a healthier life style and not completely tied to a dollar incentive but rather use education as a backbone maybe we well get somewhere.  Too many folks out there are not trained and qualified enough to work with data today and thus they think everything fits into a table with a black and white cut off point.  It has to be handled with ethics and we are not seeing a lot of that today.  BD 

Once a year, employees of the Swiss Village Retirement Community in Berne, Ind., have a checkup that will help determine how much they pay for health coverage. Those who don't smoke, aren't obese and whose blood pressure and cholesterol fall below specific levels get to shave as much as $2,000 off their annual health insurance deductibles.

Employee reaction has also been mixed. "It's an invasion of privacy," says Bradley Seff, 54, a court reporter who in August 2010 filed a lawsuit against his employer, Broward County, Fla., for introducing such a plan.

Nonetheless, such plans appear to be the wave of the future. Faced with crippling health care costs, the number of employers embracing such programs inched up from 49% in 2010 to 54% last year — and more say they expect to do so soon, according to a survey by consultants Aon Hewitt.

Big-name participants include insurer UnitedHealthcare, car rental firm Hertz, postage meter maker Pitney Bowes and media owner Gannett, owner of USA TODAY. More employers are expected to adopt them starting in 2014, when the health law — if the Supreme Court upholds it — would allow them to offer larger incentives or penalties.

Employers will still have to craft plans to comply with federal and, in some cases, state requirements, Volpp says. The programs must be voluntary — meaning an employer can't require a worker to participate as a condition of coverage — and the employer must offer a "reasonable alternative" to qualify for the reward, or to avoid the penalty for those who can't achieve the goals.

The information is generally gathered by firms that run wellness programs or insurance plans. UnitedHealthcare, which offers its "Personal Rewards" program to large, self-insured clients, says it does not use the information to set premiums.


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