Can this accomplish 2 things at once, cost and better health care?  What about privacy issues...more data mining to be used elsewhere?  Thus far only 30% have agreed to enroll. BD

NEW YORK - For Myrtha Suralie, keeping things rolling at UPS' New York sales office is no sweat, but keeping her diabetes in check during her pregnancy was another story.

She was confined to a hospital bed her entire third trimester, with a blood sugar level of 400, almost four times as high as that of a healthy person, potentially life-threatening to her and her baby.

That was when she received a life-changing call from a health coach hired by her company.  UPS has been offering health coaching to its employees for more than a year. The company hires outside firms who mine medical records for potential red flags and reach out to employees with chronic illness like diabetes and heart disease. By coaxing these at-risk employees into better sticking with prescription-drug and behavior-change regimens, the company hopes to save money by avoiding increasing health insurance premiums.

Like UPS, more companies are combating the spiraling health care costs by taking an ever more proactive approach.

But critics say programs like these can work like a Big Brother. Already some companies are asking employees to pay higher co-payments based on obesity and smoking. Giving companies free pass in digging up employees' medical records, they fear, might give away too much information.

"We are very concerned about the civil liberties implications if this data were to somehow to get out into other situations," said Michael Dixon of the Libertarian National Committee.

Health coaches nag employees to better care - CNBC Special Report: Healing Health Care -


Post a Comment

Google Analytics Alternative