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CNBC reports that CVS/Caremark has established a new rule for its employees - they have to go through an annual evaluation of their weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass, or pay an annual $600 surcharge on their insurance premiums. And "going forward," the company policy says, "you'll be expected not just to know your numbers - but also to take action to manage them."

In addition, employees have been told that they have to stop smoking by May 1, 2014, or have enrolled in the company's smoking cessation program, or will face potential fines and penalties.

CVS/Caremark says that the information will be kept private and defended the policy. However, critics say the policy is intrusive and coercive.
KC's View:
They're right. The policy is coercive and intrusive. But also completely appropriate for a company that positions itself as being in the health management business.

I have a CVS next to MNB Global Headquarters, and there is a very nice woman in the pharmacy who has been very helpful over the years. But the other day, I saw her outside the store smoking a cigarette, and I couldn't help but think about the disconnect - how can someone who is in a position of providing health guidance to people do something that is so profoundly damaging to her own health and is, let's face it, ignorant.

Nobody is being fired. But people are being told that one of their responsibilities when they work for CVS/Caremark is to invest in their own health, since by hiring them, CVS is investing in them. And if the employees don't invest in their own health, well, they're going to have some financial skin in that game.

I'm sure this is going to raise major hackles at CVS/Caremark. But this strikes me as an easily defensible position at CVS/Caremark.