CVS to ask employees for weight, body fat level (POLL)

A sign at a CVS Pharmacy welcomes Express Script Customers on its sign at a store in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

March 20, 2013 2:50:55 PM PDT
The CVS pharmacy chain is coming under fire for a policy that requires employees to report intimate health details.

CVS requires employees to report weight and body fat levels, or pay a $600 penalty.

The founder of "patient privacy rights" calls the new CVS policy coercive and invasive.

They reportedly will pay for the health screenings of the workers.

Officials say the program is designed to motivate employees to take more responsibility for their own health.

CVS says the program is voluntary, which many question since there is that fee of $50 a month for opting out.

CVS issued a statement Wednesday afternoon: " We want to help our employees to be as healthy as they can be, which is why we decided to implement this plan. In fact, we have been working for a number of years on ways they can improve their health through preventive measures. Health care programs that incent employees to be healthier are not new. Many companies around the country already have plans similar to the one we are implementing. In fact, 79 percent of large employers* have health assessments incorporated into their programs. To encourage a higher level of participation in our wellness review, we reviewed best practices and determined that an additional cost for those who do not complete the review was the most effective way to incent our colleagues to improve their health care and manage health costs.

"CVS Caremark is committed to providing medical coverage and health care programs for our colleagues and privacy is rigorously protected, consistent with HIPAA regulations. All personal health data from these screenings are collected and reviewed by a third party administrator that supports the CVS Caremark Wellness Program and this data is not shared with CVS Caremark - rather it is designed to help employees make the best decisions about their own health care. "

*Source: National Business Group on Health