Health risk assessments form the backbone of many wellness programs. Their aim? Provide employers with meaningful data for designing and evaluating wellness programs and provide employees with meaningful data for assessing and tackling individual health risk.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reports in its 2014 Employee Health Benefits Survey that 33% of firms (small and large) offer employees the opportunity to complete an assessment. More than half of these firms offer enticements to boost employees' completion rate, including financial incentives. A much smaller percentage makes completion of an assessment a requirement for benefits enrollment or the lack of participation in a wellness program a penalizable offense when an assessment identifies health risks.
The questions these assessments ask and their voluntary nature when incentives and penalties are used has raised questions within the EEOC, resulting in a number of suits.
This show delves into the intent and value of health risk assessments with guest Dr. Peter Mills, co-founder of nGage Health, an organization specifically focused on creating patient engagement and health management solutions for healthcare providers in order to help them address the new challenges brought by health care reform. Peter was a founding team member at global health management consultancy vielife, acquired by CIGNA in 2006. He has also worked extensively with Minneapolis-based RedBrick Health, helping create some of their market-leading health management solutions.