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078: Explore the Recent Court Ruling on Wellness Program Incentives with Barbara Zabawa

Barbara Zabawa Headshot

A recent court ruling on wellness programs could reshape the use of incentives. Attorney Barbara Zabawa of the Center for Health & Wellness Law and author of Rule the Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs explains the history of the 2016 case which the AARP sued the EEOC, the motions along the way, and the recent court ruling which may change the way we do wellness programs.

Tune in to hear Barbara and Jen explore why this ruling may not be such a good thing and what to look for in the year ahead. They also discuss reasons for caution in using incentives in wellness programs and how to comply with various acts such as HIPPA, Title 7, Worker’s Compensation Act, and Scope of Practice.

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
  • Why the court ruling doesn’t change anything today
  • How the EEOC decided 30% was the magic number
  • Expectations by the EEOC
  • Ways to stay up-to-date on wellness laws
Check out these highlights:
  • Recent Court Ruling-nothing changes today [3:45]
  • Reminder of May 2016 Rules which is the heart of the dispute [8:42]
  • Expectations of the EEOC [9:35]
  • What might happen now [11:50]
  • Unintended consequences of the ruling [14:23]
  • Conservative approach would be NOT having incentives [22:56]
  • New update; the EEOC filed a motion to be removed from case [28:00]
  • The remaining parts of the rule which will still be in effect [29:58]
  • In 2019, what happens with regulations around incentives? [36:07]
  • How wellness professionals can stay up-to-date [42:03]
Links mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio

Barbara J. Zabawa is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee College of Health Sciences, Department of Health Services Administration where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in health law and compliance, US health care delivery and health professions career development. Barbara also owns the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC a law firm dedicated to improving legal access and compliance for the health and wellness industries.

Barbara is lead author of the book Rule the Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs, published by the American Bar Association.  She is a frequent writer and speaker on health and wellness law topics, having presented for national organizations such as WELCOA, National Wellness Institute, HPLive, Healthstat University and HERO.

Before graduating with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School, she obtained an MPH degree from the University of Michigan.  Immediately prior to starting her own firm, she was Associate General Counsel and HIPAA Privacy Officer for a large health insurer where she advised on Affordable Care Act matters. She was also a shareholder and Health Law Team Leader at a large Wisconsin law firm.

Barbara serves health and wellness professionals and organizations across the country as an advocate, a transactional lawyer and a compliance resource.  Her commitment to improving health and wellness also shows through her community service.  Barbara sits on the Board of Directors for Health Promotion Advocates, a national nonprofit organization created to integrate health promotion into the national agenda.  She also is a Board Member for the Rogers Memorial Hospital Foundation, a health care organization that specializes in treating mental illness and she chairs the State Bar of Wisconsin Health Law Section.

Barbara is licensed to practice law in both Wisconsin and New York.

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