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Implementing the Affordable Care Act and Discrimination Laws into your Organization's Wellness Program: Critical Information to Avoid Liability

Instructor: Dr. Susan Strauss
Product ID: 704663
  • Duration: 90 Min
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A Harvard research study suggested that wellness programs may provide up to a 6:1 dollar return on investment! Organizations with wellness programs report a 15% slower rise in healthcare costs. This training will help participants in creating a comprehensive wellness and disease prevention program to improve employee health while decreasing the employer’s healthcare costs. The participants will understand challenges: employee discrimination based on disability, race, or gender, and how to incorporate non-discriminatory options in their wellness strategy.

Why Should You Attend:

Wellness programs have progressed from merely a newsletter, exercise and diet, to a more comprehensive strategy to purposely try to improve employee health while decreasing the employer’s healthcare costs.

Employee wellness program boosts morale, improves health and fitness, increases productivity, and can save the organization money by reducing absenteeism, turnover, and health insurance premiums. The programs are a long-term investment that benefits both the organization and its employees. Numerous studies have found a direct link showing that healthy staff members make more productive and effective team members, hence increasing productivity in the workplace

This Webinar will discuss the significance of wellness programs and how planning a worksite wellness program is a critical first step in implementing a successful and rewarding experience for employees. Whether you decide to develop a comprehensive worksite health promotion and disease prevention program all at once or begin with a just a few ongoing activities, using a planned process, is an essential element to a successful wellness strategy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examples of how wellness programs have resulted in discrimination lawsuits
  • Explain the role that the ADA, GINA, FMLA, and other civil rights laws play in the design and development of your wellness strategy
  • Provide specific examples of the alternative standards and why they are mandatory

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

  • To differentiate between the two types of wellness programs and why it matters
  • To list the four standards required by the ACA for health-contingent wellness programs to follow to ensure nondiscrimination
  • To discuss HIPAA and specific discrimination laws and their requirements for compliance in wellness programs
  • To contrast the reasonable alternative standard for activity-based wellness programs and the reasonable alternative standard for outcome-based plans
  • To list the benefits of an Wellness strategy to minimize healthcare costs for the organization and the employee
  • To discuss the critical steps in designing and developing the Wellness strategy
  • To plan an effective organization-wide implementation process
  • To establish an effective evaluation method of the Wellness program

Who Will Benefit:

  • Human Resources generalists
  • Managers
  • Directors
  • Risk Management Director
  • Safety Director
  • Wellness program instructors
  • Wellness program director and manager
  • Wellness Committee members

Instructor Profile:

Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant and a recognized expert on workplace and school harassment and bullying. She conducts harassment and bullying investigations and functions as an expert witness in harassment and bullying lawsuits. Her clients are from business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector.

Dr. Strauss has conducted research, written over 30 books, book chapters, and journal articles on harassment, bullying, and related topics. She has been featured on 20/20, CBS Evening News and other television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles such as Harvard Education Newsletter, Lawyers Weekly, and the Times of London.

She is the recipient of the Excellence in Educational Equity Award from the Minnesota Department of Education for her work in sexual harassment in education. She has spoken about sexual harassment at international conferences in Botswana, Egypt, Thailand, and the U.S. She consulted with the Israeli Ministry of Education, as well as with educators from Israel, England, Australia, St. Martin, Bali, Beirut, and Canada. She traveled to Poland and conducted research on sex discrimination and sexual harassment in Polish workplaces with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.

Dr. Strauss has a doctorate in organizational leadership. She is a registered nurse, has a bachelor’s degree in human services and counseling, a master’s degree in community health, and professional certificate in training and development. She has been involved in the harassment and bullying arena since 1985.

Topic Background:

The federal government believes wellness programs can cut healthcare costs and decrease the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance by promoting health and preventing disease. The new federal regulations have divided wellness programs into two types with specific rules for each. A major piece of the regulations addresses the issue of employee discrimination based on health/disability, age, gender and other protected classes. The U. S. Department of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services regulations require that regardless of the type of wellness program, every individual participating should be able to receive the full amount of any reward or incentive, regardless of any health factor. Specific regulations have been created to prevent employee discrimination in wellness programs. Employers have until January 1, 2014 to ensure that their wellness programs comply with the final rule.

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