Monday, May 23, 2016

Health Care in America - What you better know! Insights by Dr. Jon Robison


Dr. Jon Robison and sidekick Lady

Dr. Jon Robison at

Top 10 Reasons To…JUST WALK AWAY!

Business is certainly booming for wellness at the workplace. Especially since the passage of the wellness provisions of the Affordable Care Act, new employee wellness promoting entities are popping up like dandelions in the spring.  And more and more companies are spending considerable amounts of money on these programs. In fact, in the next few years, the workplace wellness industry is predicted to grow by almost 8 and 1/2% annually, leading to revenues of more than 12 billion dollars in the United States alone. Unfortunately, as health care expert Leah Binder wrote in Forbes in 2014:
“This rapid escalation in employer investment has spawned a “Wild West” kind of market for wellness and disease management, with thousands of vendors overwhelming employers, often touting exaggerated claims of effectiveness.”
With this in mind we propose some simple guidelines (with links for additional information) to help you just walk away from proposals (suggested by vendors, consultants, brokers, relatives, etc.) that are more likely to interfere with rather than enhance employee engagement and well being. From the least to the most egregious we propose;
The Top 10 Reasons to - JUST WALK AWAY:

10. Someone tells you they can save you money on health care costs                                by instituting bio-metric screens and/or HRA’s at the workplace.
 9. Someone suggests that you will have a better chance of showing savings from       employee wellness programs if you use VOI rather than ROI.
 8. Someone uses the terms participation and engagement interchangeably.
 7. Someone suggests that a healthy organizational culture has to do with gym            memberships, broccoli in the cafeteria and stress management programs.
6. Someone suggests that pry, prod, poke and punish “wellness or else”                        programs will improve engagement and lift employee morale. Also:                                wellness-programs

5. Someone offers you an employee weight loss program, contest, competition,         app, or a secret weight loss berry from the Amazon. Also:                                        health-jon-robison?trk=mp-author-card                                        
4. Someone suggests that they can show you how to turn extrinsic motivation            into intrinsic motivation with or without a magic wand.
3. Someone suggests that in order to get employees to participate in wellness            programs you need to be more aggressive or stern with them, make                        participation mandatory or perhaps have them find another job if they don’t.
2. Someone cites Katherine Baicker’s 2010 wellness ROI publication as proof            that wellness saves money. Also
And, without  a doubt, the current number one reason to just walk away!
1. Someone suggests that your wellness program is voluntary even though you pay employees to participate and/or fine them if they don’t.

We hope this list will save you from spending time and money on initiatives that have only minimal efficacy and a high likelihood of iatrogenesis.  So, the next time someone proposes one of these to you, remember the immortal words of the hit single of the American baroque pop band - The Left Banke – rated by Rolling Stone as #220 of the 500 greatest songs of all time -  and - Just Walk Away - Renee. (Four Tops cover Here)
ps - As we continue the process of ushering workplace wellness into the 21st Century, please feel free to add your own reasons to just walk away – and, in the interest of saving time and energy, I am guessing someone will want to add - just walk away – if someone (like me) suggests you should just walk away(for any of the above 10 reasons).

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