PPACA Rules on Wellness Programs Could Push Participation

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , November 26, 2012

Rather than relying too heavily upon incentives, Rooney says wellness programs should focus on changing the environment so that it supports positive outcomes, such as banning smoking in public places.

Mills called the proposed guidelines "a big deal" and a watershed moment in the wellness movement.

"When you break it down and look at the statistics of the many chronic diseases and risk factors America is facing, we really do need to shift the focus to prevention and awareness," she says. "It's a new role for providers as we take off our acute care hats and ask, 'How do we get ahead of this curve?' It is important when we look at the health of this country with the aging population and limited resources across the board to ask how do we implement new and innovative care programs to stop this progression of chronic diseases? It's getting back to the basics of good primary care, working on prevention and lifestyle and changing behaviors."

Reed is less sanguine. "My personal opinion is it will have no real influence. The only thing it will do is add clarity and guardrails."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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