CVS is forcing employees to share health data or pay fines of around $600 per year. Employees must share their weight, body fat percentage, and blood glucose level as determined by a doctor.
Employees working for CVS must provide their employers with the results by May 1 or begin paying $50 more per month for health insurance. CVS has offered to cover the cost of testing.
CVS is calling the program voluntary as employees must to sign a consent form. The form also allows CVS to share the employee’s data with WebMD Health Services Group.
CVS defends forcing employees to share their health data as they are trying to cut healthcare costs. The policy, which they have called a “health screening and wellness review,” is meant to help employees maintain a health lifestyle.
Employees have been assured that the results will remain private. They stress that the results will only be shared with WebMD, which will monitor and manage the data.
Critics of the policy contend that it is a blatant breach of personal privacy. As reported by the Boston Herald, Dr. Deborah Peel of Patient Privacy rights has called the program “incredibly coercive and invasive.”
I hope those CVS employees don’t tell anybody about the time I got my head stuck in their blood pressure machine.
— It’s Rowlf (@iRowlf) March 20, 2013
Peel blames the struggling economy and a rise in healthcare costs for an increase in employee wellness programs. She is concerned that wellness programs will help companies “get rid of” employees with health issues. Dr. Peel has stated that the policy is misleading as it is called voluntary when workers are being forced to sign consent forms.
According to their website, CVS Caremark is based in Rhode Island. The company opened its first retail outlet in 1963 and opened their first pharmacy department in 1963. CVS currently employs around 200,000 people nationwide.
Officials at CVS will be forcing their employees to share their health data by May 1, or their health insurance premiums will increase $600 per year. The new policy includes all existing employees and any new hires.