DALLAS, July 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As new federal regulations clarify financial incentives for employees to receive medical screenings for smoking, a June HealthMine analysis of 750 consumers enrolled in wellness programs found that 66% say their wellness program does not include a medical test for nicotine use. This is despite reports that indicate that more than half of smokers lie on health forms, according to CDC data.
48% Say Smokers Should Pay Penalty
As smokers stay undercover, it is their colleagues who may be paying the added healthcare bills, according to recent reporting by Fortune. Yet 48% of HealthMine survey respondents believe that colleagues who smoke should pay a penalty or premium.
57% of Wellness Programs Do Not Include Smoking Cessation
New federal and state legislation aims to extinguish the recent rise in smoking. But employers may be missing an opportunity to eliminate one of the costliest health risks in their population. According to the HealthMine survey, 57% say their wellness plan does not offer a smoking cessation program. Thirty-two percent (32%) of respondents admitted to smoking within the last two years, and 11% currently participate in a smoking cessation program through their wellness plan.
Smoking doubles an individual's risk for heart disease and stroke, and causes diminished overall health, increased absenteeism from work, and increased healthcare utilization and cost (CDC).
66% of Wellness Programs Do Not Offer Financial Incentives to Quit Smoking
But despite the enormous health and financial benefits of smoking cessation, employees need extra motivation to change their habits. Eighty percent (80%) of respondents said they wouldn't be likely to complete a smoking cessation program without a financial incentive. However, needed inducements may be missing from many programs; only 34% said their wellness program offers an incentive to quit smoking.
Bryce Williams, CEO and President of HealthMine said, "Even a small reduction in smoking within a population can have a huge impact on lowering population health care costs. The most effective programs use clinical data to identify those who smoke. The programs can then deliver personalized recommendations and incentives to empower smokers to quit."
About the Survey
The HealthMine Wellness Program Survey queried 750 insured consumers who are enrolled in a wellness program. Survey Sampling International (SSI) fielded the survey in May 2016. Data were collected via an opt-in panel. The margin of error is 4%. Survey Sampling International (SSI) has been the Worldwide Leader in Survey Sampling and Data Collection Solutions, across every mode, for 37 Years.
HealthMine brings wellness into the digital era for plan sponsors and their members. The HealthMine Personal Clinical Engagement solution automatically collects and analyzes clinical and lifestyle data from multiple sources to create a health profile for each member. Serving as an early warning system, our solution identifies health risks and chronic conditions and automatically triggers alerts. The HealthMine solution delivers health recommendations to members' smartphones in near-real time so they can take action immediately. With HealthMine, plan sponsors can engage and sustain all members in personalized health and disease management activities. HealthMine has more than 1 million users and has saved health plan sponsors more than $100 million in healthcare costs. HealthMine is on the web at www.healthmine.com.
SOURCE HealthMine, Inc.