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05/13/2014: "Clarion Health Makes WSJ Blog for Employee Health Fiasco"

Filed under: Healthcare,Indiana,Indiana University,insurance
Tags: Clarian, Emloyees, Health, Indiana, Indianapolis

This came through this morning from the Wall Street Journal Health Blog. Rather than summarize it, I"ll just post the whole thing.

Fines for Bad Health Set Off Employee Backlash

Posted by Sarah Rubenstein

Employers are eager to try wellness programs for their employees to restrain healthcare costs. Who could argue with the idea that the best way to avoid medical bills is to keep from getting sick in the first place?

TherapyTry the employees at Clarian Health in Indianapolis. The hospital system had to halt a program to encourage wellness even before it got off the ground after workers objected to increases in health insurance premiums tied to missed health goals, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Clarian set minimum standards for tobacco use, body mass index, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol, the Tribune reports. Employees who didn't meet the targets and weren't working toward them would wind up paying as much as $30 more per paycheck for health insurance, the newspaper said.

The reaction from some of the health system's 13,000 employees was less than positive. "Some of them quite frankly didn't get the essence of what we were trying to do," Sheriee Ladd, Clarian's vice president of human resources, told the Tribune.

So Clarian changed the plan, offering extra money in paychecks of employees who meet the health standards or are following a plan to improve.

That seemed to mollify most everyone. The revised program drawing 95% participation during this past fall's enrollment period.

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