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Thread: CW Healthcare at work page

  1. #1
    mrd232's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel


    As a method to cut costs and reduce our premiums, our company has instituted an optional "health monitoring" system where we can access all records at a glance, reduce paper billing statements, and receive free, shall I call it, "counseling" through a nurse or nurse practitioner over the phone.


    I signed up for the system because, hey, at a 15% discount per monthly premium, I'd be pretty stupid not to. Outside of its seemingly innocent face of reducing paper and simplifying medical records, the whole thing is a hotbed of pharmaceutical marketing ploys. I opted out of the "counseling" nonsense, but continue to receive notifications in the mail encouraging me to sign up and chat about my health concerns. Uh, no thanks.


    The site has numerous health questionnaires similar to the goofy Real Age tests popularized on various website banners. For giggles, I took one of the tests. My answers involving the amount of animal product I consume and my lack of grain consumption decreased my overall score and then prompted the site to send me notifications on "heart healthy" diets and statin medication. Gee, thanks CW medicine. Just what I needed! Guess I better drop dat steak!


    The company has presented numerous times that they're using this as a means to increase the relative health of employees through this free counseling as well as numerous weight loss programs. Apparently one of the programs will be a "Biggest Loser" style contest. Apparently this is all "groundbreaking" (oh woooo) stuff and it's gonna drop our premiums and get rid of all the fatties. We also receive complimentary gym passes to a local gym. There's rumors that there will be additional discounts for those that participate in the weight loss programs and visit the gym X amount of times per month. I'm all for visiting the gym, but considering how it's used, I'm not sure how effective that really is.


    Now, I'm all for people getting in better shape, but everything that's being done is the same tired old advice given by every other schmuck in healthcare and nutrition. I go to the gym to lift weights, I see colleagues running the treadmill ratrace (seriously, the gym is amazing because no one ever freaking lifts weights. I have 3 racks of free weights and a squat rack ALL TO MYSELF). I look in the cafeteria, there's vending machines with instant lunches, canned fruit, and "SmartOnes" meals. And of course, the people buy into it and now our healthcare program is nicely promoting it even further. I'm counting the days until the sooper-healthy organic snackies and cookies hit the regular vending machine...3...2...1...


    And when does it stop? I eat lunch at my desk to avoid the upcoming workplace cardiologists preach about how unhealthy my bacon and egg salad topping is. I wonder if I should wrap my big ass salad in a "LeanCuisine" wrapper as camouflage?


    Many say "let the results speak for themselves." I do this. People ask me what I eat and I simply show them my lunch. No need to preach. That usually triggers a nose in the air and "ew, that's a lot of fat, you're hurting your health. You can't eat that way long term unless you want to suffer a heart attack."


    So basically all I can do now is enjoy my 15% discount and laugh at the folly of CW weight loss theories whilst eating my "fattening" salad, lifting weights, and generally not giving a damn. I'm sure this is occurring in many other offices, too, unfortunately.


    Anyone else have to deal with this goofy nonsense in the workplace? Have a bad experience with "health counseling" programs? It's seriously getting out of hand!


  2. #2
    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    I"ve long been amused that Orwell's Big Brother is far more prevalent in the private sector than the dreaded gummint.


    Of course, none of this lowering premiums goal via intrusion would be necessary if we had universal single payer system. No one tells my Medicare parents what they should or shouldn't be eating.


    Keep on keeping on.......


  3. #3
    Sharonll's Avatar
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    I totally hear you about the "upcoming workplace cardiologists"! One of the most overweight guys on my floor, who constantly brings donuts and bagels to meetings, saw me pouring heavy cream into my coffee the other day. "What? You won't have one of my donuts but you put THAT into your coffee?" I didn't even bother trying to explain. I, too, eat my lunch at my desk.


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    musajen's Avatar
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    My work provided healthcare requires us to fill out an enrollment questionaire every year that asks lots of questions about our diet - all based on CW. I'm torn between telling the truth or just giving the answer I know they want.


    So far I've been telling them the truth and this gets me offers to join different programs that pay me to participate and pay for my labs. So I take my free labs, my doctor praises my HDL levels and the levels of all the other tests and I go on my merry way pocketing a nice amount of money in my health spending account.


    CW can continue paying me for their stupidity. It's about time I got SOMETHING out of CW.


  5. #5
    mrd232's Avatar
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    I just tell the doc I eat copious amounts of vegetables and lean meats and that usually shuts 'em up


  6. #6
    chima_p's Avatar
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    I am in Canada so I have never heard of these.


    I wonder if insurance companies get a cut of

    medications prescribed through these types of "programs"?


  7. #7
    mrd232's Avatar
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    I think the main goal of the program (for the company) is to have a statistical representation of its employees' health concerns. In that way they can better manage the insurance benefit options available.


    The other part of this is that by participating in such a service, I'm sure there are some other discounts and benefits made available through Big Pharma kickbacks.


    In itself, if it wasn't for the silly questionnaires, it would be a good tool for online health management. Problem is, the suggestions given are very standard advice. Nothing truly out of the ordinary.


  8. #8
    mrd232's Avatar
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    I pulled this off their website:


    "it has rolled out an innovative solution that couples its disease management (DM) program with a value-based insurance design (VBID) incentive. When individuals with chronic conditions engage in disease management nurse coaching, they are eligible for reduced co-payments on their medications. The new program, currently in place at a large, national employer, is designed to improve clinical outcomes by encouraging targeted individuals to participate in nurse coaching and removing a financial barrier to medication compliance."


  9. #9
    MariaNYC's Avatar
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    My fiance had these health professionals calling him at his last place of business. They were concerned about workers' stress management and lack of sleep. It was ironic since the higher-ups were well aware that the analysts at his level were consistently working 100+ hour weeks.


    Just yesterday I was talking to a guy from my volleyball team who used to work at a place that gave stipends to be used toward gym memberships. He was a member of a lower-cost gym and for some time was making a profit from the deal

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