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No doubt about it, weight is a sensitive subject but also the primary focus of so many people in the U.S. Evidenced by the enormous amount of money we spend on diets and weight loss foods, we are definitely preoccupied by our weight. But what if your employer asked you to disclose your weight or risk being fined or taken off of your employee-sponsored health insurance? Well, that's exactly what CVS is telling its employees.

CVS recently sent out a notice to all its employees that they are required to undergo a annual WebMD Wellness Review, including submitting to tests for blood sugar, body mass, blood pressure, body weight, and cholesterol or face a $50 monthly penalty. The CVS policy also states that employees are expected to take action if they are not healthy. While it isn't so strange for companies to urge their employees to get healthier, they usually do so through incentives rather than harsh "or else" policies like CVS is using. CVS also informed its employees that they will be expected to be tobacco-free by May 1, 2014 or participate in the WebMD smoking cessation program.

Dr. Deborah C. Peel, founder of Patient Privacy Rights, a nonprofit organization, says that CVS's policies may backfire when considering patient privacy. According to Peel, some employees are already refusing treatment for psychiatric disorders to sexual diseases for fear of their information somehow becoming public because of their company's inability to keep confidential medical information private. CVS begs to differ and says that all employee information will be kept private and that it is common practice for health screenings to be a requirement for continuing use of employee-sponsored health plans.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Janet S.
    Janet S.

    It doesn't make sense. The information being required falls under the HIPPA law. How is this policy justified legally?

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