During this session, panelists discussed the unique opportunities and challenges of digital-health wellness programs that partner with employers and health plans in considering, adopting and operationalizing wellness programs across their employee populations. The panelists discussed a wide range of challenges and opportunities, including accessibility to employees, navigating the health plan regulatory landscape, and being mindful of budgetary constraints and the reality of rising healthcare costs.
Denise Bloch, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Regulatory and Compliance, SWORD Health
Tsion Lencho, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Cleo
Emily Taylor, Chief Financial Officer, Wondr Health
Sarah Raaii, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
Moderator: Scott Weinstein, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
Top takeaways included:
Trends in employee health include looking for ways to drive healthcare costs down, which often involves adoption of employee wellness solutions, particularly digital-health wellness solutions.
Employers are balancing the desire to find and adopt a “full-scale” solution that meets the unique needs of their workforce, while also considering budgetary constraints, the likelihood of employee utilization and the costs of implementing new benefits solutions.
When implementing wellness programs, employers should be aware that they may be subject to the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or other laws and regulations governing health plans (e.g., the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)) if the program involves the provision of medical care to employees. Employers and/or health plans may request compliance assistance from their digital-health wellness programs, and digital-health companies should tread carefully to avoid liability for such compliance.