Using Medical History in Wellness Programs
Original Article By: Christian Schappel
August 23, 2011
The Wellness industry has been very careful to remain in compliance with Federal Regulations relating to healthcare information including GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act). Companies have been implementing and operating wellness programs under the belief that when medical history is used, no incentives or penalties can be associated with the program. Now, that may not necessarily be the case.
In a recent informal guidance letter, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) says that employers and other entities covered by GINA...
"may use the genetic information voluntarily provided by an individual to guide that individual into an appropriate disease management program"
"If that program offers financial incentives for participation and/or for achieving certain health outcomes, the program must also be open to employees with current health conditions and/or to individuals whose lifestyle choices put them at increased risk of developing a condition."
This is good news for employers. It means that you can collect genetic information (i.e. family medical history) and use it to help your employees improve their health.
Click here for complete article