WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Proponents argue in favor of clinical wellness programs while critics argue against them…but never before have both parties opposed each other in a live, unscripted, national forum with the opportunity to rebut.
World Health Care Congress 2020 (WHCC20) is hosting that exact debate “Does Wellness Work?” on March 29th at 3:30 PM at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC.
The debate –specifically on the topic of whether employer-sponsored clinical wellness programs should be encouraged or discouraged as a matter of policy, based on results to date -- will be moderated by Matthew Rae, an Associate Director at the Kaiser Family Foundation. He observes, “Employers remain really interested in wellness programs; almost 4 in 10 large employers provide an incentive to participate in health screening. This debate will help inform our own viewpoint on these programs.”
Timeliness is key here, as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is currently writing new rules on penalties and incentives. EEOC commissioners and staff have been alerted to this debate, and will be tracking the outcome.
There continues to be serious interest in Congress in potentially changing the rules governing wellness programs. As a result, there is great interest in the Senate and the House about wellness. Sen. Lamar Alexander, who leads the Senate Committee Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions (HELP), is expecting that the pro side will win the debate, because he sees "a remarkable consensus that wellness - lifestyle changes like eating healthier and quitting smoking - can prevent serious illness and reduce health care costs. Wellness programs that reward behaviors such as exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, or quitting smoking have the potential to make the workplace healthier, which translates to healthier communities."
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) is also looking forward to this debate, albeit with a bit more circumspection: “My colleagues on both sides of the aisle are eager to see what happens here when each side gets to rebut the other.”
In a rare instance of bipartisan consensus, Tom Scully, formerly Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President George W. Bush, agreed that it’s time to settle this one way or the other, or build a consensus. “In either my current investor role at Welsh Carson, or as a former CMS Administrator, I’ve always wondered, who could be against wellness? The issue is how do we define it and make the policies effective? And I am always fascinated by that debate.”
This is the closest, until now, that both sides have the opportunity to argue their positions in real time in a national forum.
Members of the media are invited gratis: http://bit.ly/WHCCPress.
Join the health care ecosystem at WHCC20 to discuss their strategic vision and transformative approaches for the future of U.S. health care: http://bit.ly/WHCC20.