Wellness programs are seen as a way to hold down healthcare costs for companies. The idea is you give employees a helping hand to better their health and eventually their need for doctor visits and medications lessen.
But is it working?
Al Lewis, CEO of Quizzify and author of Surviving Workplace Wellness, believes the U.S. is “drowning” in over-diagnosis and over-treatment and wellness programs are partly to blame, according to EBA’s article, ‘Wellness programs ‘massively over-screening’ people’.
“This country is drowning in over-diagnosis and over-treatment, raising health care costs,” Lewis said.
Lewis believes the over-testing done on employees as a requirement in a company’s wellness program could lead to false positives, unneeded medications or higher expenses for employers and employees.
Ron Goetzel, senior scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, agrees there are a lot of lousy wellness programs out there, but there are some good programs too.
“What we’re trying to do is figure out what works,” Goetzel said. “The most effective way is creating cultures of health where people go to work every day and come out healthier because of the culture, through leadership support and commitment, and a culture of doing everything to promote health.”
Lewis and Goetzel comments come from debate during the Population Health Alliance Conference in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 2, 2015.