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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181b05435
Original Articles

Health Risk Reduction Programs in Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Part II—Law and Ethics

Rothstein, Mark A. JD; Harrell, Heather L. MD, JD

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Abstract

Objective: We sought to examine the legal and ethical implications of workplace health risk reduction programs (HRRPs) using health risk assessments, individually focused risk reduction, and financial incentives to promote compliance.

Methods: We conducted a literature review, analyzed relevant statutes and regulations, and considered the effects of these programs on employee health privacy.

Results: A variety of laws regulate HRRPs, and there is little evidence that employer-sponsored HRRPs violate these provisions; infringement on individual health privacy is more difficult to assess.

Conclusion: Although current laws permit a wide range of employer health promotion activities, HRRPs also may entail largely unquantifiable costs to employee privacy and related interests.

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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