Uncategorized

Random testing of state workers is not cost effective

An analysis of the Tennessee state health plan by HealthLeaders-InterStudy includes several interesting notes relevant to North Carolina’s State Health Plan wellness provisions.

Tennessee is planning to levy a surcharge on smoking state employees — although the timing of the charge could get delayed until 2011. In many ways Tennessee has a fairer program than the one proposed in North Carolina. Our neighbor across the mountains, for example, is not going to randomly test employees because it is not cost effective.

Indiana has a program where non-smoking workers can get a premium discount and subject themselves to possible testing. Studies in Indiana have found only a 5 percent misrepresentation rate. That means that if you ask people to declare their smoking status about 95 percent will tell the truth.

As HealthLeaders notes [this report is not publicly available by the way]:

Tennessee decided randomized testing would simply not be cost-effective and that self-reported rates of tobacco use in Cover Tennessee are consistent with known tobacco use rates. He said there were also concerns about privacy.

North Carolina is not likely to net savings from its smoking program because it will cost so much to implement and administer. Other states have figured this out.

Let’s hope members of the General Assembly take action before the State Health Plan is saddled with more costs and state employees have their privacy — and their cheeks — violated.

Check Also

Context is key for understanding Insurance Commissioner’s Affordable Care Act comments

Many people were surprised to see a story ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

With just a few hours left until the crossover deadline, the state of North Carolina’s environment i [...]

On Monday morning, there was only one way left to save the Court of Appeals and a few hours with whi [...]

The political compromise that repealed HB2 was enough for the NCAA and ACC, both of which have retur [...]

Conference comes a day after new report lauds benefits of same-day registration The new line-up for [...]

How many times do we have to say it? Well, it’s worth repeating – especially in the aftermath of rec [...]

As the national pundits weigh in on President Trump’s first 100 days in office and the General Assem [...]

How the General Assembly is spending “crossover week” and what it ought to be doing The last week of [...]

To casual observers, the recent controversy surrounding public school class-size mandates in grades [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more