The Population Health Alliance (PHA) announced today that it will lend membership support and expertise to the efforts of the Senate Health Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee during a full committee hearing scheduled for Thursday, January 29, 2015, at 10 a.m., ET. The title of the hearing is Employer Wellness Programs: Better Health Outcomes and Lower Costs and it will be streamed live on the HELP Committee’s website at: http://www.help.senate.gov/.
PHA and its member organizations have been concerned that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has yet to issue detailed guidelines regarding what it considers acceptable for employer sponsored wellness and prevention programs and, in the last few months of 2014, the Commission filed lawsuits against companies offering workplace wellness programs to their employees and dependents. These lawsuits allege that the incentives, biometric screenings, and health risk assessments included in these programs were in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondisclosure Act (GINA). The lack of detail regarding how the various federal statues (ACA, HIPAA, ADA, GINA) are being enforced creates a challenge for PHA members, the health management industry, and consumers. Thus, this hearing is an important first step in seeking clarity for the industry.
“Workplace wellness programs and their components are an important element of population health management and the PHA supports members in their efforts to deploy programs that are ethical, effective, and in compliance with federal and state regulations,” said Fred Goldstein, executive director, PHA. “We have a long history of advocacy in wellness and incentives and we were very involved in providing comments and thought leadership around the relevant passages of legislation and regulations that impact the population health field, and the interests of our member organizations.”
The PHA proactively works to advance the principles of population health management in order to improve health outcomes across populations through individually-targeted, evidence-guided solutions and support, implemented across an evolving spectrum of community, care, and employer settings, operating approaches, and payment models.
Individuals and organizations involved in offering wellness, incentives, and biometric screenings are invited to visit http://www.help.senate.gov/on Thursday to show support for, and lend their voices to these vital efforts. Goldstein also noted that the PHA is compiling a report to educate Hill members on workplace wellness and is accepting research studies on the topic. Those interested in sharing research findings can contact the organization at www.populationhealthalliance.org.
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About the Population Health Alliance
The Population Health Alliance (PHA) is a global trade association of the population health industry. Its almost 100 members represent stakeholders from across the health care delivery system that seek to improve health outcomes, optimize medical and administrative spend, and drive affordability. Through its robust advocacy, research and education initiatives, the PHA offers members a forum to advance shared learning and applied research to further innovation and establish best practices in the population health field. Learn more at www.populationhealtalliance.org. Follow on Twitter: @PHAVoice.