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Critical Thinking Analysis

Assignment Requirements
Scroll down to see the Penn-Mart memo
Analyze the business document below (scroll down), applying all steps of the critical thinking model described in Asking the Right Questions by Browne and Keeley (2012) 10th edition.
In a short paper (7 double spaced pages) the steps of the critical thinking model to assess the arguments made in the critical thinking assignment document. There will be 10 or 11 steps, depending upon the edition of your book. You must include all of the steps. Although not necessary for a passing grade, answers to some of the questions may be enhanced by doing additional research.
Remember that your task here is to evaluate the author’s argument as objectively as possible, not to give your own opinions on the issue. Be sure to use the analytical framework from the book, not your own thoughts on the issue.
Prepare your paper in the format your instructor requires and post it in Assignments. The citations and the reference list in the paper should be formatted in accordance with the APA guidelines.
Submit your write-up to Turnitin, correct all issues of proper citation and ensure that the write-up is in your own words before posting in your Assignments. After all corrections are made, based on the Turnitin report, only then should you post in your Assignment Folder by the specified due date. Be sure to allow enough time for you to make corrections based on the Turnitin Report before submitting this assignment. This paper is due by 11:59 PM on the last day of the week.
Recommendation for Revision of Penn-Mart’s
Health Care Strategy
Memorandum to the Board of Directors
from Salvador Monella, SVP, Human Resources
January 6, 2014
1. Purpose
This memorandum is to update you on our efforts to review and revise Penn-Mart’s healthcare benefits strategy. Last fall the board asked my office to examine what Penn-Mart could do to control the spiraling costs of employee healthcare benefits. In response to the board’s concerns about unfavorable cost trends, I recently led a team in evaluating Penn-Mart’s approach to benefits, and developing a plan to revise the Penn-Mart healthcare strategy. We are prepared to share with you a brief, high level overview of our considerations and our final recommendations. In short, we recommend that Penn-Mart institute a wellness initiative consisting of a mandatory health screening program for all employees enrolled in the company-sponsored health plans.
1. Findings
Our internal research has showed that wages and benefits make up roughly 40 percent of our annual budget. Growth in benefits costs is unacceptable and is driven by fundamental and persistent root causes such as an aging workforce with increasing average tenure. Benefits costs could consume as much as 15 percent of our total profits in 2015. Employee surveys demonstrate that employees are overall highly satisfied with their benefits. The least healthy, least productive employees are more satisfied with their benefits than other segments and are interested in longer careers with Penn-Mart. It is not fair to the young and fit, to allow those who are not to be a drag on earnings. Our research indicates employees overall are highly opposed to traditional cost-control measures such as higher deductibles for health insurance.
Data from our underwriters indicates that individuals who voluntarily neglect their health account for the greatest impact on the growth in benefits costs. This group includes smokers, those who do not exercise, and those who defer preventative care. Therefore we should require preventative care of everyone at Penn-Mart. The best way to do this is through a mandatory wellness program. Penn-Mart has for ten years offered wellness programs on a voluntary basis. Data from our group health underwriters indicates that participation in these voluntary programs peaked at 5% of total FTE’s in 2006.[1] It is time to get everyone involved.
1. Recommendations
Our recommendations are expected to have significant positive impact on the health care cost curve for Penn-Mart.
Our team recommends:
• That every current benefits-enrolled employee be required to complete biometric health screening no later than December 31, 2014 at a company-contracted third party medical facility.
o Biometric screening includes: finger stick blood tests for cholesterol and glucose; weight, height, and waist measurement; and a blood pressure reading.
• That every current benefits-enrolled employee be required to complete an online health profile.
o Such profile will collect additional information to provide a more complete picture of employee health (e.g. whether employee smokes, conducts appropriate physical self-examinations).
o Certify that the employee has had an annual physical examination.
• That the new initiative be given a friendly name such as “Get Well” to promote employee acceptance of the program.
• That employees who do not comply with the terms of “Get Well” be given the options of
o Pay a $1,000 annual health surcharge; or
o Decline employer-sponsored health coverage for the following calendar year;
o Resignation; or
o Termination.
1. Discussion
The objective of the “Get Well” program is to make employees more aware of their own health status and to help them identify issues that they could mitigate on their own to become more fit.
The “Get Well” initiative completely aligns with other current public health and fitness initiatives such as Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large soft drinks and the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign.
There have been numerous research studies on obesity published in scholarly journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine.
We firmly believe that many Penn-Mart employees want to get fit and that the “Get Well” initiative will provide the necessary incentives for them to take charge of their own wellness. Giving a blood sample and filling out a survey form is not intrusive or burdensome – these are two things that people do routinely. Those who might oppose “Get Well” are either unfit, or they have something to hide in their medical history. To quote the famous Charles Darwin, “survival of the fittest” is a natural part of evolution.
“Get Well” will make all Penn-Mart employees feel better about themselves.
These recommendations have been thoroughly researched and represent state-of-the-art in our field. We are confident in your concurrence.
[1] 2006 was the year of Penn-Mart’s participation in the local Corporate Challenge road race in which some managers chose to consider participation in the race as a minor part of the annual employee performance review process; this initiative was scrapped due to a frivolous legal challenge by those who are not runners.
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