There's no doubt that the past decade has been a boon for wellness programs, with half of large employers now incorporating wellness incentives into their health care plans. But with increased popularity comes increased scrutiny, which has led to some powerful criticism of the model on a number of fronts.  

A recent study by the Rand Corporation of one large employer's wellness program found little evidence that the employer was saving money by putting a wellness program in place. 

For starters, Rand asserts that the great majority of the savings (87 percent) achieved came through the component of the program that focused on the management of chronic diseases, rather than the part that focused on getting workers to adopt healthier lifestyles. The disease management component had a much bigger impact even though it only affected 13 percent of the workforce, compared to the 87 percent who were enrolled in the lifestyle management program.   

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