Many employers are providing, or considering providing, wearable data devices (such as those marketed by Fitbit™, Garmin™, Jawbone™, and others) to employees. One reason, among many, is to try to encourage workforce members to live a healthier, more active lifestyle and thereby lower the employer’s health insurance costs. Wearable devices can track activity, pulse rate, location, compliance with medication or exercise schedules, sleep habits, caloric intake, and more, with even greater capabilities promised. Sometimes the devices are provided as part of an employer-sponsored health plan, a wellness program, or an employee assistance program, with specific requirements regarding sharing the data gathered by the device, and sometimes they are provided by employers as gifts with no strings attached. But regardless of how or why they are provided, there are employer compliance obligations that may apply. HIPAA and state laws on the privacy and security of health-related data and personally identifiable information present important issues, as do employment discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, regulations issued by the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, employment laws, and labor relations laws. And we should not forget about the tax implications of providing wearable devices. All told, there are a range of legal and compliance issues to consider.
Join Christine Williams, founder of Health Plan Plain Talk, to learn more about safe and appropriate wearable data device policies and procedures and how to avoid unpleasant surprises that might arise if the data from wearable devices is not handled and protected properly.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
Here is just some of what will be covered:
- What types of wearable devices are available and why would an employer want to initiate a program to provide them to employees?
- Can use of wearable devices lead to lower health insurance costs for an employer?
- If an employer provides wearable devices to employees at no cost or reduced cost, is the value of the device taxable?
- What privacy and security laws and rules may apply to health-related data gathered by wearable devices?
- If a wearable device comes with a representation that it is “HIPAA-compliant,” is it safe for employers to use it?
- What privacy and security rules may apply to personally identifiable information that is not health related?
- What employment and disability discrimination laws may apply?
- Do wearable devices that track location raise special issues?
- How may data collected by wearable devices be used, and by whom?
- When and how should employers disclose to employees what data the employer is collecting from wearable devices and how the employer is using that data?
- Do employers need consent from employees to gather data from wearable devices?
- AND MUCH MORE!
YOUR CONFERENCE LEADER
The conference leader for “Wearable Devices in the Workplace: Important Employer Compliance Issues” is Christine Williams. Ms. Williams is the founder of Health Plan Plain Talk and has worked in the employee benefits area since 1987, both in private practice and as in-house counsel to a Fortune 100 company. She has extensive experience with all types of health and welfare plans, and was the editor and a contributing author of HIPAA Portability, Privacy, & Security, published by the Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA), a division of ThomsonReuters, and is now a contributor to that publication. She was also a contributing author of Health Care Reform for Employers and Advisors, also published by EBIA. She has provided advice on HIPAA, health care reform, and compliance to a wide range of health plans, employers that sponsor health plans, and business associates. She has taught a broad range of seminars for employee benefit professionals, and before moving into employee benefits she was an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.