What if your job wanted your weight on file? As part of your annual review, maybe, you’d hear about your strengths and weaknesses, and maybe one of those weaknesses would be, “You’re packing on the pounds, there, Kevin” — or whatever your name is. Kyle, maybe. Or Lana. And what if you were penalized if you decided that no, actually, HR didn’t need to know your scale reading?

Well, if you work for CVS, you’re probably already dealing with this.

If you’re a CVS employee, and you’re on the company insurance, you need to report your weight, and body fat and glucose levels to the insurer — or pay a $600-a-year penalty.

Of course, privacy advocates — pretty rightly — see this as a Terrible Idea. “Rising health care costs are killing the economy, and businesses are terrified,” Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights founder, said. “Now, we’re all in this terrible situation where employers are desperate to get rid of workers who have costly health conditions, like obesity and diabetes.”

CVS doesn’t see it as a privacy issue at all. They’re framing it as “a health screening and wellness review so that colleagues know their key health metrics in order to take action to improve their numbers, if necessary.” See! Nothing creepy and Orwellian at all! They want to help their employees be the best! And if that means being the best employee with diabetes at some OTHER company, then, you know: Ta-da!

CVS spokesman Michael D’Angelis defended the policy, saying, in an email, “Our benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health-associated costs.”



Thursday’s headlines:

Sitting Kills: Sitting eight hours at your desk is not good for you. Republican Senator and world-renowned health expert (note: that’s sarcasm) is upset that the newly-created Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has “state-of-the-art workspaces, including very expensive treadmill desks.”

Happy Third Birthday, Affordable Care Act!: “Here are just a few ways that the health care law builds a smarter health care system and incentivizes quality – not quantity of care – to drive down costs and save you money.”

To Be Fair, the Public is Unaware About a LOT of Things — Sometimes Seemingly Willfully: “Nearly three years after President Barack Obama enacted landmark health care reforms, the American public remains uninformed and divided about the law, according to survey findings released Wednesday.”

More About Medicare Fraud: Last month a Venice dermatologist paid $26.1 million as a settlement to the United States following a nine-year civil and criminal investigation. The physician was alleged to have committed Medicare fraud, including kickbacks and performing medically unnecessary surgical procedures.

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