The Other Penn State Scandal

The Other Penn State Scandal

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It’s one thing to lead by example and quite another to be made an example of.  The executive leaders of Penn State University, who have managed to generate quite enough terrible publicity over the past couple of years, have now gone boldly where no employer has gone before.  By implementing a coercive, intrusive, and wasteful “wellness” program during the academic year’s summer doldrums and miscalculating that it would go unnoticed, they have invited the wrath of their own faculty.

The PSU wellness initiative like so many before it relies on the hydra of preventive medical care, which is both clinically and fiscally ineffective; a personally intrusive health risk appraisal; and, a whopping incentive/penalty of up to $1,200 per year if you don’t play ball, which is double the national average.  Penn State faculty, led by political science professor Matthew Woessner of their Harrisburg campus, have responded with outrage and a petition for withdrawal of the program, which now has 1,500 digital signatures.  Penn State’s HR team, led by VP Susan Basso, has doubled down on its own ignorance claiming that the opposition is “unfortunate and sad.”  What’s unfortunate and sad is that employees of a college can’t do math or read .

Penn State faculty are right to oppose the wellness program on both ethical grounds and economic grounds.  Their creativity on how affected faculty and staff should respond is applause-worthy.  Entering bogus data on the HRAs (both legal and harmless to employees because HRAs are anonymous) and refusing to get any of the preventive care recommended are useful guerilla steps.  They are also discussing a blanket refusal to participate, which means either everyone gets hit with the penalty or no one does.

However, there is an alternative approach, and one that will break the bank in HR: get every preventive test possible and then get all the follow-up care you can for every conceivable dubious or positive result, many of which will be false positives.  Faculty should also use their paid time off to rest up from the physical and emotional stress of getting all this unnecessary medical care and perhaps even think about filing workers comp claims since these stressors are all directly job related.

PSU’s stab at wellness is all the more unctuous because of the way it was rolled out.  It is aimed at non-unionized, white collar employees (and their spouses), whom the University clearly expected to behave like lemmings.  Ironically, given the strong inverse relationship between education, income, and health risks, these people were the least likely to need help, but it was much easier to surprise them than it was to renegotiate contracts with the Teamsters Union.  PSU’s executive leadership would do well to climb off this particular ledge, admit their multiple errors, and trash their wellness program until they can design something that actually makes sense and builds a bridge of goodwill with employees.  Otherwise, this chapter in wellness history will show that Penn State’s leaders could not resist the opportunity to do something to their employees instead of for them and with them.  Of all the places on earth that ought not to be doing things to people anymore, it’s Penn State.

Vik Khanna is a St. Louis-based independent health consultant with extensive experience in managed care and wellness.  An iconoclast to the core, he is the author of the Khanna On Health Blog.  He is also the Wellness Editor-At-Large for THCB.

Al Lewis is the author of Why Nobody Believes the Numbers, co-author of Cracking Health CostsHow to Cut Your Company’s Health Costs and Provide Employees Better Care, and president of the Disease Management Purchasing Consortium.

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69 Comments on "The Other Penn State Scandal"


Guest
Nov 17, 2014

Sad to hear this news on Penn State.

Guest

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Guest
N Jones
Dec 9, 2013

I work an average of 40 hours a week at Penn State, but I don’t receive employee health benefits, or any of benefits most full time PSU employees receive, because I have been classified by Penn State as a part time employee. Under HR Policy 88 ( and many other Penn State policies and guidelines), I should qualify for full employee health and other benefits, because I definitely meet full-time equivalent (FTE) employee standards.

Why am I being mis-classified? I have been asking our Human Resources department that very question for almost one year now, and for every email I send or meeting I have with them, I get the same response–“We’ll have to look into that and get back to you”. As of today I am still waiting for their response. To put this into perspective, my first email (or the first of many emails sent, that I can find in my inbox) was sent January 3rd, 2013, it is now December 9th, 2013, 11 months and 6 days later, and I am still waiting to hear back!

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, I’ve discovered that I could end up paying a fee if I don’t choose a healthcare plan through the exchange or my employer, but what can I do? Penn State “graciously” offered me “Part-Time” Employee Benefits today for $260 a month, with NO Vison or Dental coverage, while ObamaCare wants $150 to $280 a month for a similar plan. If I were classified as a full time employee by Penn State, which according to every policy and guideline they publish I should be, I would pay less than $75 a month for Medical, Dental, Vision insurance coverage, all together. Do I sign up for ObamaCare and save over the over-priced Part-Time Benefits package offered by Penn State (which, by the way, only covers 50% of prescription costs), or do I hope that Penn State’s HR department finally (magically) stops being so magnificently incompetent and gives me the benefits I should have received for years now? I’ve worked for Penn State for 5 years, 3 of which were in my current department. I’ve never personally seen HR solve a single person’s problem or give a straight answer to anyone’s questions, but maybe I’ll get lucky.

However, these are the people that told a girl in my department, after she reported that a man who worked down the hall from us had a concealed handgun in his desk, and who also made a few very scary comments about killing thieves and immoral people…they told her that she should just try avoiding him in the future. And guess what, he still works there, even after several other people went to HR to complain about his bizarre behavior. What is wrong with the HR department at Penn State? And why would an organization like Penn State so constantly mired in scandal and controversy, not do something to improve the work environment of their employees, or at the very least have an HR department that can answer questions from employees sooner than a year after they are asked?

We are Penn State? Penn State Lives Here? Instead of spending $6 million on a slogan campaign, how about treating your employees equally, or at the very least hiring competent employees? Penn State can keep manipulating it’s outward image with catchy phrases, but internally it is being eaten alive by cronyism and incompetence. Penn State Lives Here, indeed — well there goes the neighborhood!

Guest

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Penn State’s Mandatory Health Questionnaire Ineffective

New Policies Largely Ignore the “Elephant in the Healthcare Room”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 19, 2013): A new policy by Penn State, requiring all employees to fill out a detailed and arguably intrusive health questionnaire – covering everything from binge drinking to testicular self-exams – or pay $1,200 a year is very ineffective and inefficient in its stated purpose of holding down health care costs, while largely ignoring the “Elephant in the Healthcare Room,” says public interest law professor John Banzhaf of the George Washington University Law School.

While more and more companies are charging employees who smoke a surcharge under Obamacare of $5,000 a year or more for their health insurance – as only partial compensation for the $12,000 a year cost each smoking worker can impose on his employer – Penn State is charging only $75 a month.

“The cost of one monthly dinner out, or a few Starbucks drinks a week, is hardly enough to persuade a university professor or administrator to quit smoking and save his employer over $12,000 a year in unnecessary costs, whereas $400 a month – and even more for a couple – will certainly provide a powerful incentive, says Banzhaf, who lobbied hard to include the smoker surcharge under Obamacare.

Indeed, notes Banzhaf, companies imposing the 50% surcharge are reportedly finding that it usually halves the smoking rate among their employees, and a Gallop survey shows that a majority already support charging higher health insurance rates for smokers.

Under the new money-saving policy, Penn State employees also must get biometric screenings – including blood-sugar and cholesterol tests, and body-mass index measurements – but apparently no tests (such as for cotinene or carbon monoxide) to determine if they are still smoking.

Mandating tests for cholesterol or blood-sugar, but failing to include a simple blood, urine, or saliva test for cotinene, is simply ignoring the elephant in the medical cost room, says Banzhaf, who participated in a case holding that employers could refuse to hire people who smoke because of the huge $12,000/year cost they each impose on their employer, and indirectly on other nonsmoking employees.

Actually, says Banzhaf, simply requiring employees to fill out health questionnaires saves employers little if anything in healthcare costs, and may even increase spending by forcing workers to undergo extra testing and schedule additional doctor visits.

Many people also find the questions very intrusive. Moreover, while Penn State says that the employee health information will be protected as confidential, recent breaches of computer security at major corporations and military installations suggests that any such guarantee may prove illusory.

Smoking is the largest single preventable cause of unnecessary medical costs, says Banzhaf.

At a time when thousands of college campuses have gone entirely smokefree, and some are even refusing to hire smokers at all, Penn State would do better to crack down on smokers than to force even its healthiest employees to fill out health questionnaires, he argues.

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052, USA
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
http://banzhaf.net/ @profbanzhaf

Guest
Al Lewis
Aug 22, 2013

Another county heard from!

Has anyone noticed that excluding people who are feeding at the wellness trough themselves (like Highmark), no one who is well-informed takes Penn State’s side?

Also, check out Harvard Business Review http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/08/attention_human_resources_exec.html

Apparently at the same time PSU is doing this, they are expanding their selection of desserts and pastries.

Guest

Penn State’s Mandatory Health Questionnaire Ineffective
New Policies Largely Ignore the “Elephant in the Healthcare Room”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 19, 2013): A new policy by Penn State, requiring all employees to fill out a detailed and arguably intrusive health questionnaire – covering everything from binge drinking to testicular self-exams – or pay $1,200 a year is very ineffective and inefficient in its stated purpose of holding down health care costs, while largely ignoring the “Elephant in the Healthcare Room,” says public interest law professor John Banzhaf of the George Washington University Law School.

While more and more companies are charging employees who smoke a surcharge under Obamacare of $5,000 a year or more for their health insurance – as only partial compensation for the $12,000 a year cost each smoking worker can impose on his employer – Penn State is charging only $75 a month.

“The cost of one monthly dinner out, or a few Starbucks drinks a week, is hardly enough to persuade a university professor or administrator to quit smoking and save his employer over $12,000 a year in unnecessary costs, whereas $400 a month – and even more for a couple – will certainly provide a powerful incentive, says Banzhaf, who lobbied hard to include the smoker surcharge under Obamacare.

Indeed, notes Banzhaf, companies imposing the 50% surcharge are reportedly finding that it usually halves the smoking rate among their employees, and a Gallop survey shows that a majority already support charging higher health insurance rates for smokers.

Under the new money-saving policy, Penn State employees also must get biometric screenings – including blood-sugar and cholesterol tests, and body-mass index measurements – but apparently no tests (such as for cotinene or carbon monoxide) to determine if they are still smoking.

Mandating tests for cholesterol or blood-sugar, but failing to include a simple blood, urine, or saliva test for cotinene, is simply ignoring the elephant in the medical cost room, says Banzhaf, who participated in a case holding that employers could refuse to hire people who smoke because of the huge $12,000/year cost they each impose on their employer, and indirectly on other nonsmoking employees.

Actually, says Banzhaf, simply requiring employees to fill out health questionnaires saves employers little if anything in healthcare costs, and may even increase spending by forcing workers to undergo extra testing and schedule additional doctor visits.

Many people also find the questions very intrusive. Moreover, while Penn State says that the employee health information will be protected as confidential, recent breaches of computer security at major corporations and military installations suggests that any such guarantee may prove illusory.

Smoking is the largest single preventable cause of unnecessary medical costs, says Banzhaf.

At a time when thousands of college campuses have gone entirely smokefree, and some are even refusing to hire smokers at all, Penn State would do better to crack down on smokers than to force even its healthiest employees to fill out health questionnaires, he argues.

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052, USA
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
http://banzhaf.net/ @profbanzhaf

Guest
Al Lewis
Aug 19, 2013

L.R, this sounds like a FAQ written by your human resources director’s evil twin.

I just found out that with all this money being spent on screens and tests, PSU spouses are still not allowed to access the fitness facilities without paying an additional fee.

So much for Highmark’s claim that the Penn State program is creating a “culture of wellness.”

Guest
L. R.
Sep 11, 2013

Update on how Penn State admins. stinks the PSU community:
http://www.centredaily.com/2013/09/10/3781728/debate-continues-over-wellness.html

Guest
Al Lewis
Sep 11, 2013

This is hogwash. They can’t save $63MM because they don’t spend $63MM on wellness-sensitive medical events over 5 years.

Guest
L.R.
Sep 15, 2013

[Penn State, Ms. Basso says, did consider alternate ways of introducing a cost-containment strategy — like artificially inflating employees’ premiums by 35 percent and then offering a discount to those willing to participate in the wellness program. But administrators felt that the $100 surcharge was more transparent. “It was an intentional design to drive participation,” Ms. Basso says, “and it is driving participation.” ]

[The reaction may have caught Penn State by surprise, because administrators did not extensively examine the WebMD program before signing up for it. When I asked Ms. Basso who at the university had reviewed the questionnaire for scientific validity and ethical propriety, she said: “We have a relationship with Highmark. This is their tool. If we were going to use a health risk assessment, it was going to be theirs.”]

Source:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/business/on-campus-a-faculty-uprising-over-personal-data.html?_r=0

Guest
PSU Faculty Member
Sep 15, 2013

Mr. Lewis,

Apparently you have not read Ms. Basso’s earliest explanation of the actuarial analysis carefully. Thus, you have a naive understanding of what it means to “save.”

Ms. Basso was very clear initially that the amount of the “surcharges” were set not to drive compliance (although that’s what she has said more recently) but by actuarial analysis to determine which surcharge levels would result in the target “savings.”

So, I have tried out some sample sets of assumptions to see what that means. If we assume that:
* 30 percent of spouses have available but significantly inferior employer-sponsored health insurance,
* 16 percent of the total number of employees either smoke or have spouses who smoke (could assume a lower percentage if both smoke)
* 20 percent of employee/spouse pairs do not comply in entirety with the wellness initiative.

Then that would save PSU a tidy $63MM over 5 years at the set surcharge levels. That’s without considering those who opt for a less expensive plan, or who drop their spouses or their whole families from the PSU plan. The surcharges are not being considered in their presentations of employee contributions, but as reduced healthcare expenditures; one can deduce that by looking at their estimated numbers with and without the plan for next year.

It’s clear to me how PSU HR defines savings, and that under that definition $63MM is certainly possible. You just haven’t kept up with Ms. Basso’s “transparent” definitions.

Guest
Al Lewis
Sep 16, 2013

Gotcha — my understanding was that the $63MM was , in her i (justifiably) humble opinion, to be saved from making people heathier. THAT’s the part that’s impossible. Saving $63MM the other ways is possible but only if you define “saving” as “making someone else pay.”

That then raises the question: if they aren’t saving money in wellness itself, why do it? Why invade everyone’s privacy? Why force them to go to the doctor all the time and get screened far in excess of government recommendations?

Guest
L.R.
Aug 19, 2013

From the FAQ file (http://ohr.psu.edu/assets/benefits/documents/TakeCareOfHealthFAQs.pdf)

***
Q: I don’t trust WebMD or the other third-party companies that they sell information to. Is it mandatory that I share personal health information with third-party web businesses that I don’t trust?
A: Completion of the WebMD Wellness Profile is not mandatory, however, if someone chooses not to complete the profile, the surcharge will be applied beginning in the January payroll.
View more information about WebMD’s security and privacy policies at http://ohr.psu.edu/assets/benefits/documents/WebMDPrivacyAndSecurity.pdf.

Q: Can I request that my data from the wellness profile and WebMD be purged if I leave Penn State in the future?
A: No, if you leave the University, WebMD places the member files into a holding area in case the member ever rejoins – they do not delete/purge them. (added 8/9)

Q: If I participate in the program this year but not next year, may I request that the data be purged during the non-participation year?
A: No, there is not a process to delete/purge active member Rewards Program information. (added 8/9)

***

So the alternative to “not mandatory” is to pay $1200/each or $2400 for two each year. Do regular faculty and staff members really have a choice? These people do:
http://chronicle.com/article/Executive-Compensation-at/139093/#id=22084_3179
http://chronicle.com/article/Executive-Compensation-at/139093/#id=22131_3179

Why a doctor’s note saying this person has taken the exams is not good enough? Why would PSU administration force their employees to share extremely personal information with for-profit insurance companies and their partners?

Guest
PSU Spouse
Aug 20, 2013

This whole this is BS. They are obviously selling our records to a commercial enterprise and pocketing the profits. I strongly suspect that is Jerry Sandusky hadn’t buggers those kids, we would not be being buggered now.

Guest
Aug 18, 2013

The public and PSU employees were recently promised a new era of transparency at Penn State. Where is this transparency? We were not given an opportunity to voice concerns. We simply received a notice via email stating the three things we had to do to avoid a $100 surcharge. No mention that upon compliance our medical records would be made available to WebMD. Now we must also pay an additional surcharge of $100 to keep our spouses on the same insurance plan when we already pay for the “family” plan. Staff and faculty have stuck by Penn State when the scandal brought so much shame. We told students, family and strangers that the terrible actions were those of a few. We do not deserve this treatment.

Guest
Aug 16, 2013

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters both have critical stories up today. It’s important for PSU employees and other advocates for privacy to continue to speak up and maintain the pressure on the administration and its vendors.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323455104579014653816536802.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/15/us-usa-healthcare-pennstate-idUSBRE97E19420130815

And, in a related vein, Peggy Noonan of the WSJ has written a very thoughtful essay on the growth of the surveillance state and bureaucratic encroachment on privacy:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323639704579015101857760922.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet

Guest
Paul Papanek MD
Aug 30, 2013

You’re quoting Peggy Noonan and the Wall Street Journal as authoritative sources?? Oh brother.

So now I’m wondering if the rest of your concerns are comparably baseless.

Your concerns about privacy are, of course, important. And yes, it sounds like the decision to use WebMD without additional privacy safeguards was a blunder.

But your bland dismissal of the effectiveness of this type of preventive intervention, including HRA’s (Health Risk Appraisals) is, to me, unpersuasive. There actually is quite a bit of data about such interventions going back a decade or more. Yes, a specific set of prevention interventions will almost always need review and periodic improvement. Some will work; some won’t. Preventive programs are intrinsically a moving target. Yes, respondents can lie on their HRA responses, but mostly they don’t. Yes, such preventive plans can be poorly tailored, but often they help quite a bit. Maybe this roll-out was “ham-fisted” as you say, but that doesn’t mean the overall intent, and the evidence base supporting such programs, can be easily dismissed.

The literature on workplace preventive interventions for employer-sponsored plans (covered in Section 1201 of the ACA) is extensive. Annual reductions in health care costs ranging between 5% and 10% are typical following successful roll-out of such programs, and are accompanied by significant improvements in other health measures in that workforce. Often very cost-effective.

Of course, employers also look for improvements in productivity from their workforce, as a result of these interventions. There is no question that if some appreciable percentage of smokers can be persuaded to quit, or a percentage of sedentary folks can be persuaded to get in shape, they’ll miss fewer days of work, in addition to costing their health insurer less.

So what’s wrong with such preventive interventions? Of course, as you suggest, they have to be carefully tailored to avoid discriminating against folks with disabilities; and the rules in ACA Section 1201 on this matter are pretty strict. Also, there’s the inevitable perception that a monetary incentive is just the reverse of a penalty for folks who don’t take advantage of it. Can’t help that, and such incentives have to be implemented very diplomatically.

For smoking in particular, you may be aware that Congress explicitly authorized employer-sponsored plans to offer incentives amounting up to 50% of out-of-pocket medical expenses for covered patients who quit. Congress meant business on smoking cessation. God bless ’em.

So, overall, I’m not so sure the intent and direction of this Penn State program are as bad as you are arguing.

(PS – you state above that BMI (body mass index) is “unscientific.” Hogwash. You can measure it, and it predicts things. Is the R-squared perfect for those predicted things? Of course not, but BMI still correlates with important outcomes; and if you can change BMI, the likelihood of those outcomes also tends to change. That would accordingly make BMI “scientific,” I would argue. Are there better measures and predictors? Maybe. But this one happens to be cheap and available.)

Guest
Sep 6, 2013

If your metric is something is worth using because it’s cheap and available, then not only are you on thin ice, but the ice is shattering right under your feet.

Below are just a few things that are cheap and readily available in health care that are also so over-utilized and, in most cases, clinically worthless, that even the specialty societies charged with protecting the economic interests of the physicians who use them the most are starting to say STOP.

In almost all these cases (and many more), these relatively inexpensive (but always reimbursable) steps are what you can do to avoid having a real dialogue with a patient, which is the same reason to rely upon BMI. Inappropriate prescribing, referring someone out for unnecessary diagnostic testing, or throwing their BMI in their face is cheaper, easier, and less time consuming than talking to the patient. It is certainly cheaper and easier to tell a patient that he or she is obese by BMI than to explain that excess adiposity is actually a complex clinical situation and that their state of cardiometabolic health and fitness are likely the key factors in their prognosis.

Routine ECG in asymptomatic patients (I’ve lost count of how many times that has been pushed on me)

Routine dental exams and xrays (same as above)

Antibiotics or imaging for common rhinitis

Imaging for uncomplicated low back pain

Pap smears on women <21 or who have had a hysterectomy

This list of cheap, available (and billable), and worthless health care services could go on forever. Readers can read details of these and more at: http://www.choosingwisely.org.

BTW, in the earlier comment, no one was pointing to Peggy Noonan or the WSJ as "experts". The notation was merely that there were two thoughtful pieces worth reading, and you apparently missed the boat on both counts.

Guest
Paul Papanek MD
Sep 6, 2013

Hey, I’m not saying BMI is a GREAT metric, but it is a metric which strictly speaking is “scientific” by any reasonable definition. Really, what else does “scientific” mean except you can measure it pretty accurately; and in this case it’s also interesting because it happens to correlate with other interesting things, such as the risk of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, obstructive sleep apnea, and other outcome measures.

To say flat out that BMI is not scientific, as you did, would therefore be incorrect. I would not want to discourage my patients from knowing their BMI and what percentile they’re in. Telling a patient that BMI’s are “unscientific” is likely to discourage them from inquiring about that.

Guest
Aug 30, 2013

Well Paul,
Following your line of reasoning, I will take one important comment of yours to ask how we can feel good about the bases of what you are saying. You say the BMI is scientific because “you can measure it and it predicts things.” The first part of that statement is, of course, not very impressive – Just because it can be measured is hardly an endorsement of validity or anything else for that matter. So, on to the second part – “it predicts things.” What exactly does it predict? Body fat %? – not well. Blood pressure?, not well, fitness?, not well. Morbidity and mortality?, not well – It doesn’t predict these things very well partially because it does not take into account age, gender, ethnicity, or muscle mass. Yes it does correlate with outcomes but clearly you know that correlation does not imply causation – after all there is a positive correlation between baldness in men and heart attacks but that does not mean you can reduce a bald man’s risk by giving him a toupee.
Furthermore, it was not created for the purpose of being used as a measure of or even proxy for health – (read about its creation – google – Quetelet index)
As far as the math behind the BMI, it has been thoroughly trashed by NPR’s science guru Dr. Keith Devlin – (Google Do You Believe in Fairies, Unicorns or the BMI). Oh yes, and I almost forgot, your own scientific advisory council recommended against naming obesity a disease because of its lack of validity. So, in one sense you are correct, it is cheap and available – and when those two terms become synonyms for accurate and efficacious I would agree we ought to embrace it.

Guest
Aug 30, 2013

Well Paul,

Guest
Human Resource
Aug 30, 2013

Any chance you could provide citations for the studies evidencing the (preferably long term) effectiveness of Penn State’s type of intervention? Thanks.

Guest
Compromised victim
Aug 15, 2013

The main point of opposition is – the employees are being forced to sign over their medical records, in their entirety to both WebMD and ICH – a Pittsburgh based HRA firm.

Even if we get the HRA completed by our family physician and fill out the online HRA – its not good enough, we will still be fined $100 per month – the crucial part here is there is a connection between signing over our medical records to WebMD & ICH, and the money.

Obviously there is financial gain to be had for us to provide our medical records to ICH and WebMD…..Selling medical records is a huge and lucrative business….do a web search and see.

Web MD is in the news for buying compromised medical records..

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-08-08/your-medical-records-are-for-sale

WebMD is paying for medical records…..Penn State fines us for not signing over our medical records to WebMD,

The HRA is only a smokescreen.

Guest
Brian Curran
Aug 15, 2013

This is the heart of the privacy matter. This and the fact that the ICH testing sites are a hotbed of privacy violations on their own, with “patient’s” results delivered verbally within earshot of others. This in an environment where we all work for the same employer. At least one complaint has been filed against this to my knowledge.

Guest
Aug 14, 2013

Penn State employees who have wellness stories that they would like to share privately should contact me. Send me an email with your experience and/or your contact information if you prefer to speak over the phone.

We will likely write a follow-up column to this one, and nothing makes an issue like this more compelling than personal experiences.

Email me at: [email protected]

Guest
Al Lewis
Aug 14, 2013

Latest interview on wellness at PSU http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/08/psus_punitive_new_health_policy_is_an_invasion_of_privacy_as_i_see_it.html

Story going national within 72 hours. Stay tuned. Penn State employees are way more empowered than they thought, apparently