Genetic testing moves into the world of employee health

Mar 2012
57,940
39,494
New Hampshire
#1
Interesting yet terrifying at the same time..

"Big companies are considering blending genetic testing with coaching on nutrition and exercise to help workers lose weight and improve their health before serious conditions like diabetes or heart disease develop. It’s a step beyond the typical corporate wellness programs that many companies are using to make workers more aware of their risk factors and improve their health."


"Genetic testing in corporate wellness programs also is relatively uncharted territory. Many employers and insurers cover these tests and counseling for medical reasons, like helping people determine if they are more prone to certain cancers. And earlier this year, President Obama asked Congress to approve spending on medical research into using a patient’s genes to tailor care. Mixing generic testing into a wellness program may create a tool attractive to employers desperate to cut health care costs, one of the biggest expenses in a company’s budget. But employee benefits experts have doubts that such a novel approach will gain momentum. It first has to conquer steep challenges like employee worry about sharing such sensitive information and employer skepticism about its effectiveness."




Genetic testing moves into world of employee health - The Sun Chronicle : Stories
 
Likes: 1 person
Mar 2012
57,940
39,494
New Hampshire
#4
What is terrifying about it? Is it the word "genetic"?
No its putting faith in a company that knows your genes and the likelihood of whether you will get cancer, diabetes or heart disease and then not laying you off at some point down the road when you get older or start getting sick. Companies seldom do the right thing.
 
Likes: 4 people
Mar 2012
57,940
39,494
New Hampshire
#5
Indeed. Yet another argument for divorcing health insurance from employment. (People look at me like I have two heads when I make this suggestion.)
So agree and I think it wont be politics that move us towards single payer but something like this.
 
Likes: 1 person

Djinn

Council Hall
Dec 2007
51,621
38,418
Pennsylvania, USA
#6
People would have to consent before their genetic profile is made available to an employer. And frankly, I doubt many will do it.

Wellness programs are another matter... Odds are pretty good that a "wellness test" won't tell you anything you don't already know, assuming you visit your doctor annually and get your cholesterol levels checked. But a genetic profile will very likely contain information that you didn't previously know - and not many people will be willing to sign off on handing unknown information about themselves to an employer.
 
Likes: 3 people
Mar 2012
57,940
39,494
New Hampshire
#8
People would have to consent before their genetic profile is made available to an employer. And frankly, I doubt many will do it.

Wellness programs are another matter... Odds are pretty good that a "wellness test" won't tell you anything you don't already know, assuming you visit your doctor annually and get your cholesterol levels checked. But a genetic profile will very likely contain information that you didn't previously know - and not many people will be willing to sign off on handing unknown information about themselves to an employer.
Also wonder if that genetic info would be used in hiring decisions. Of course not obviously, but if a company has a choice between 2 individuals, one with excellent genetics and one with many markers, which would they choose?
 
Likes: 1 person

Djinn

Council Hall
Dec 2007
51,621
38,418
Pennsylvania, USA
#9
Also wonder if that genetic info would be used in hiring decisions. Of course not obviously, but if a company has a choice between 2 individuals, one with excellent genetics and one with many markers, which would they choose?
I don't think they're talking about using genetic screening for job applicants. The risk of discrimination lawsuits is WAY too high. It sounds like this would be for employees, after they've been hired. At least, that's how wellness programs work.

The only tests I've heard of companies doing pre-hire are drug screenings.
 
Jun 2014
49,454
50,346
United States
#10
No its putting faith in a company that knows your genes and the likelihood of whether you will get cancer, diabetes or heart disease and then not laying you off at some point down the road when you get older or start getting sick. Companies seldom do the right thing.

So then, you are terrified of wellness programs in general, whether or not they include genetic testing?
 

Similar Discussions