CHICAGO, July 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To assist U.S. employers in understanding and navigating the new health and wellness program requirements and implications of health reform, The Vitality Group, an incentive-based wellness provider, has released a new white paper. The information is publicly available and can be accessed on the company's website.
This paper provides an overview of GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) and other legislation pertinent to wellness programs in order to alert program administrators to the special privacy and anti-discrimination issues that dictate program design and implementation.
"An important part of a successful wellness program is to embrace the insights from behavioral economics — namely, the adoption of effectively designed incentive programs for reaching desired goals," said Arthur C. Carlos, The Vitality Group CEO. "Yet, there is considerable legislation that needs to be considered to ensure programs are in compliance. We've developed this piece to help guide employers through the maze."
Impact on wellness programs
With the new regulations, it's important for employers to understand how GINA II compares to existing federal and state laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
Health and wellness programs have played a pioneering role in the use of genetic information, first to diagnose and treat disease and chronic conditions and, more recently, to help determine or guide behavioral and lifestyle decisions and possible interventions. Now that GINA imposes strict limitations on the gathering and use of such information, these types of programs are sure to come under increased scrutiny. And, as with most new legislation, it will probably require court decisions to fully and finally interpret the law.
About The Vitality Group
The Vitality Group is a member of Discovery Holdings Limited. Vitality wellness programs serve more than 2 million members in companies in a wide range of sizes and industry categories, improving individuals' health and well-being as well as employers' and health plans' bottom lines. Early adopters in the United States include some of America's most forward-thinking companies. They join global organizations in the United Kingdom and South Africa who together are proving the effectiveness of the Vitality health enhancement solution in reducing healthcare costs. www.thevitalitygroup.com
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SOURCE The Vitality Group