Health Risk Reduction Programs in Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Part II - Law and Ethics

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 51, No. 8, August 2009

7 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2009 Last revised: 1 Nov 2012

See all articles by Mark A. Rothstein

Mark A. Rothstein

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law; University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Heather L. Harrell

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law

Date Written: September 18, 2009

Abstract

We sought to examine the legal and ethical implications of workplace health risk reduction programs (HRRP's) using health risk assessments, individually focused risk reduction, and financial incentives to promote compliance. Methods: We conducted a literature review, analyzed relevant statutes and regulations, and considered the effects of these programs on employee health privacy. Results: A variety of laws regulate HRRP's, and there is little evidence that employer-sponsored HRRP's violate these provisions; infringement on individual health privacy is more difficult to assess. Conclusion: Although current laws permit a wide range of employer health promotion activities, HRRP's also may entail largely unquantifiable costs to employee privacy and related interests. (J Occup Environ Med. 2009; 51:951–957)

Keywords: HIPAA Privacy Rule, Employee Benefits, Health Risk Assessment, Wellness Programs, Health Risk Reduction Programs, ADA, GINA, Smokers Rights, Ethics

JEL Classification: K31, K32

Suggested Citation

Rothstein, Mark A. and Harrell, Heather L., Health Risk Reduction Programs in Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Part II - Law and Ethics (September 18, 2009). Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 51, No. 8, August 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1475395

Mark A. Rothstein (Contact Author)

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law ( email )

Louisville, KY 40202
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.louisville.edu/bioethics

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

Heather L. Harrell

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law

Louisville, KY 40202
United States

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