Employer-sponsored wellness programs put your health privacy on life support.
Marlene Breverman stashed this in Privacy
Commercial data broker information can be quite detailed and personal. The data can range from purchase histories to hobbies to reading habits to charitable donations to locations frequented, all non-work related activities.
"There are hot disputes whether wellness programs actually save money. However, it may not matter if employees don’t do what they are told (lose 20lb!) and must pay more of their share of health insurance as a result. Shifting costs may be the real savings for employers."
That is unfortunately a good explanation: shifting costs to employees.
Bosses Harness Big Data to Predict Which Workers Might Get Sick
"I bet I could better predict your risk of a heart attack by where you shop and where you eat than by your genome," says Harry Greenspun, director of Deloitte LLP's Center for Health Solutions, a research arm of the consulting firm's health-care practice.
An employee who spends money at a bike shop is more likely to be in good health than someone who spends on videogames, Mr. Greenspun says. Credit scores can also suggest whether an individual will be readmitted to the hospital following an illness, he says. Those with lower credit scores may be less likely to fill prescriptions and show up for follow-up appointments, adds Mr. Greenspun.
There's something insidious about monitoring employee habits outside work.
"Some people may feel uncomfortable with the idea that their personal data is being used to predict their future. Castlight carefully test-markets its messages to try to avoid appearing too intrusive, says Mr. Rende. "Every word matters," he says."
That's good spin.
Perhaps if they're more transparent about this then people will understand the consequences of our behavior better.
Maybe this is a good argument that employers shouldn't be in the healthcare business?