The concept of a personal health scorecard, as discussed in the Oct. 24 article, "Business Workshop: Health Scorecard Helps Employees Keep Track, Earn Incentives," is a novel and potentially powerful approach to assisting individuals in maintaining and improving their health. Although, I would caution participating employees to not allow an insurance provider to fully supplant their own judgment and the judgment of their doctors.
Keeping track of one's health and the incentives that follow from doing so can certainly be a positive boon for employees seeking greater control over their lifestyle. However, the idea that an insurance provider will propose that a person take certain health actions based on some unknown algorithm brings to mind the increasing prevalence of excessive preventive care and the distress that is often attached to it.
At the core of this recent innovation is the pursuit of increased revenue for insurers and greater productivity for employers. If the scorecard system works as planned, more employees will access preventive care while fewer will require the types of services that are expensive for insurers. This is, admittedly, positive for the few who may benefit from a successful preventive screening, but for the majority of consumers it signals an increase in doctor visits, co-pays and anxiety.
EDWARD J. WARGO
The writer is a student in the Health Law Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Just a quick little bit of Pittsburgh history.
Many years ago there was a little place on Ardmore Boulevard before the Westinghouse Bridge named Vince's Pizza. It was the best pizza in town and worth the drive, and it was made over coals. ("Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza Has Dan Marino Power," Nov. 4).
It was fantastic.