If you work for a large company or a government agency, you are probably one of over 50 million Americans subject to a workplace wellness program. This number grows daily, and if you work for a smaller firm, workplace wellness is headed your way soon. It’s hard to believe that something as pure sounding as “workplace wellness” could be bad for you, but conventional workplace wellness programs are proof that nightmares are real.
Parts of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), based on transparent lies told to Congress by corporate leaders, propelled wellness programs from simple and harmless into a twilight zone of privacy invasion, phony health scares and financial arm-twisting of employees, many of whom cannot afford the loss of income for not participating. What should have been a philosophy of healthy food in the workplace, time or incentives for exercise, and sensible stress management resources, is now a clinical comedy of errors as workplace wellness vendors bamboozle employers with the government-propelled fairy tale that the way to save healthcare dollars is to spend more of them. In fact, new studies of workplace wellness at companies like Pepsi show these programs cost much more than they save, but they continue to spread like wildfire. Until now.
Surviving Workplace Wellness…With Your Dignity, Finances, and (Major) Organs Intact is a biting, hilarious, and incisive expose that only two industry insiders could write. Al Lewis and Vik Khanna, the nation’s two most irreverent, experienced, and expressive wellness consultants were once true believers. They wanted workplace wellness to work, in the same way that children want the tooth fairy to be real. But, their love of facts, logic, and fifth-grade math simply overwhelmed the idea that making employees take health risk appraisals, give blood samples for biometric testing, and go to the doctor for no reason, was the path to more efficient and effective healthcare system. Stories from Nebraska, Penn State and elsewhere will show that you are far more likely to be physically and emotionally harmed than helped by workplace wellness programs. In Nebraska, for example, hundreds of screened state employees were incorrectly told they had cancer. At Penn State, the workplace wellness vendor asked female employees whether they had plans to get pregnant, while everyone had to disclose marital problems and drinking habits…or face a big fine.
In what is easily the funniest healthcare book ever written, Lewis and Khanna effortlessly dissect workplace wellness vendors’ claims of success. Even more importantly, they show how employees like you can protect themselves against unnecessary medical care, medical errors such as incorrect diagnoses of cancer and heart disease by firms unqualified to diagnose anything at all, and invasions of privacy that give your employer’s workplace wellness vendor data on how much you drink and your sexual habits. They even show how you can protect yourself against what one workplace wellness vendor calls “‘I feel fine’ syndrome,” a disease whose major symptom is telling people at work you feel fine.
“This book throws a lifeline to employees who might otherwise drown in a sea of overscreening, overdiagnosis and overtreatment.” – Alan Cassels, author of Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease
“These activities don’t just waste time and money while invading your privacy. A lot of wellness program recommendations can harm you. Surviving Workplace Wellness…may singlehandedly even reverse the trend toward employers playing doctor.” – From the Foreword by Tom Emerick, former head of Global Benefits for Walmart
“This book is riotously funny and deadly serious at the same time. Poorly designed wellness programs are doing more harm than good, and employers and policymakers better pay attention because they are paying a high price for this folly.” – Leah Binder, President & CEO, The Leapfrog Group