Critical Thinking Analysis of Penn-Mart`s Health Care Strategy


CriticalThinking Analysis of Penn-Mart`s Health Care Strategy


The memorandumwas developed by Salvador Monella, SVP, Human Resources, on August 6,2016. The communication was addressed to the Board of Directors(Monella, 2016).


The purpose ofthe document is realistic since it harmonizes with the company’sobjectives. In fact, the memorandum was drafted to provide an updateon how the firm was reviewing and revising the health care benefitsstrategy (Monella, 2016). Furthermore, the document providesbackground information concerning the mandate exercised by theoffice. The Board of Directors desired to know why the companyincurred high expenses with regards to employee healthcare benefits.The purpose of the document is also inclusive since it reveals theapproach used in obtaining the findings. Hence, a comprehensive teamwas used to evaluate Penn-Mart’s framework of benefits.Subsequently, they developed a competent plan seeking to revise thecompany’s healthcare strategy (Monella, 2016). The purpose of thedocument is clearly stipulated to serve as a basis for the subsequentfindings. In this respect, the human resources department is ready toprovide several considerations and recommendations.

Question atIssue

Notably, thequestion at issue is clear and well-stated (Eichhorn, 1996).Penn-Mart was struggling to cope with the high costs of employeehealthcare benefits. In this regard, the management was deeplyconcerned with how to control such expenses (Monella, 2016). Besides,the question was also unbiased since it focused on the firm’shealthcare strategy. Hence, both practitioners and patients wouldbenefit from the adoption of viable recommendations. In addition, theexpression of the question reflects the complexity of the matter.Therefore, the Board’s concerns about unfavorable cost trends wouldbe addressed in a satisfactory manner.

Information(The Empirical Dimension of Reasoning)

The informationcontained in the document reveals the in-depth analysis that led tothe report’s findings. Indeed, the writer cited the relevantinformation, experiences, and evidence (Eichhorn, 1996). Inparticular, the document used the objective responses provided inemployee surveys. Workers at the firm demonstrated their overallsatisfaction with the different types of benefits (Monella, 2016).The least productive and healthy employees were focused on havinglonger careers at Penn-Mart (Monella, 2016). Moreover, such workerswere more pleased with their benefits than other parts. The documentalso used information from the firm’s financial statements to lendcredibility to its findings. For example, the total value of profitsin 2015 is compared with the amount of insurance costs. The benefitsand wages are determined to comprise 40% of the company’s annualbudget (Monella, 2016). The information in the document also utilizesthe personal details of Penn-Mart’s workers. Consequently, thehuman resources team can identify signs of an aging workforce.

The document alsoacknowledges the increasing average tenure of retained employees(Monella, 2016). In addition, reliable data from underwriters wasused to explain the growth in benefits costs. The human resourcesteam pinpointed the fact that many persons neglected their overallhealth. Inevitably, such people would have the greatest effects onthe increase in benefits costs (Monella, 2016). Data from theunderwriters was also used to reveal the participation levels involuntary programs. In fact, only 5% of the total capacity wasoccupied (Monella, 2016). Therefore, the input from sourcescontributes to the realization that more employees need to beinvolved in voluntary programs and initiatives. Some information wasalso obtained from reputable journals such as the New EnglandJournal of Medicine and the Journal of the American MedicalAssociation (Monella, 2016). Utilizing facts and figures derivedfrom scholarly sources contributes to authenticity and reliability.Therefore, the information contained in the document formulates asolid foundation for subsequent recommendations.


Notably, thedocument has several instances of direct and indirect inferences. Forexample, people who voluntarily neglect their health status includesmokers. Other significant classifications include those who deferpreventative medical care and those who avoid physical exercises(Monella, 2016). Consequently, the document stipulates that allworkers at Penn-Mart should be mandated to pursue preventative care.Furthermore, data from the group health underwriters revealed thatonly 5% of employees enrolled in voluntary programs (Monella, 2016).Hence, the inference was made to necessitate the involvement of moreworkers. The document highlighted that benefits and wages comprised40% of the annual budget (Monella, 2016). Consequently, an indirectinference was made to show that subsequent growth in benefits costswould be unacceptable. Admittedly, the least productive workers couldstill enjoy long careers with generous financial rewards (Monella,2016). Hence, the inference was created to argue against theinjustice that slighted the younger employees. In particular, fitterworkers experienced a drag on their earnings.

The ConceptualDimension of Reasoning

The document usesvarious theories, rules, and principles to support the team’sreasoning (Eichhorn, 1996). For example, plenty of information isderived from the data developed by Penn-Mart’s underwriters(Monella, 2016). Therefore, such details are used as a benchmark forsubsequent conclusions. The research was also based on the principlethat governs the growth of benefit costs. In particular, people whoneglect their health and wellbeing place a corresponding burden onhealthcare expenditure (Monella, 2016). Moreover, some rules will beenacted and enforced to ensure that workers comply with the terms andconditions of “Get Well.” For instance, obstinate employees wouldbe terminated from employment. Other non-compliant workers could beforced to relinquish their posts through mutual consent (Monella,2016). Granted, resignation could be prevented by declining to offeremployer-sponsored insurance coverage for the following year.Defaulters may also be forced to make annual contributions to thehealth surcharge worth $1,000 (Monella, 2016). Therefore, such ruleswere enacted to promote high rates of compliance.


Notably, thewriters utilize clear, albeit unjustifiable, assumptions. Forexample, the document presupposes that the majority of Penn-Martemployees desire to attain fitness (Monella, 2016). Nevertheless, itis likely that a vast majority of workers are satisfied with theircurrent physical state. Some extraneous assumptions are also used tomake unique inferences (Eichhorn, 1996). In this respect, the humanresources team assumed that filling out a survey form would notbecome burdensome (Monella, 2016). Nonetheless, some respondents mayloathe providing answers to lengthy questionnaires. Furthermore, thewriters concluded that giving a blood sample would not be intrusive.Similarly, an assumption is made that people perform such activitieson a routine basis (Monella, 2016). However, it can be proven that asignificant number of individuals refrain from giving blood samplesor filling out questionnaires.

Besides, thewriters show little sensitivity to some of Penn-Mart’s workers. Forinstance, the document assumes that people, who oppose the “GetWell,” are physically unfit. It is also thought that suchindividuals desire to conceal shameful aspects of their medicalhistory (Monella, 2016). The document also utilizes consistentassumptions that laud the benefits of the “Get Well” initiative.In particular, the human resources team believes that the programwill enable all employees to develop greater self-esteem. Such a boldstatement assumes that the initiative has the power to make allworkers feel better about their contributions to the firm (Monella,2016). Notwithstanding, the program may deplete the confidence ofsome employees when they fail to attain physical fitness.

Implicationsand Consequences

The writersdeveloped a definite line of reasoning and provided fittingexplanations of how they arrived at definite conclusions (Eichhorn,1996). Furthermore, the implications were in harmony with theestablished standards of practice. For example, the “Get Well”initiative was formulated with particular objectives. The humanresources team sought to increase the awareness of all workers withregards to their health status. The program was also concerned withhelping the staff members to pinpoint issues that they could solvewithout external support (Monella, 2016). Hence, all employees couldmaintain physical fitness while performing their duties at work.

Additionally, the“Get Well” program was completely aligned with the relevantpublic health and fitness initiatives. For instance, Mayor Bloomberghad established a ban on large soft drinks. The First Lady had alsoestablished the “Let’s Move” campaign designed to promotephysical fitness and well-being (Monella, 2016). Therefore, it wasessential for the initiative to recognize and appreciate pastendeavors. Previous programs set clear precedents since they wereestablished to fulfill public health outcomes. The writers alsoalluded to the accuracy of information contained in the document. Infact, they mentioned some scholarly journals such as the NewEngland Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the AmericanMedical Association.

Consequently, thedocument incorporates several recommendations that match up to theestablished standards of practice. Firstly, every benefits-enrolledworker would be required to undergo biometric health screening beforethe beginning of 2015 (Monella, 2016). This procedure would beconducted at a third party facility that was hired by the company.Notably, biometric screening would include several factors such aswaist measurement, blood pressure reading, and weight and heightmeasurements. Other procedures would include finger-stick blood testsconducted to check the glucose and cholesterol levels (Monella,2016). Moreover, every benefits-enrolled worker was mandated tocreate an online health profile. In this regard, the employee wouldhave to clarify whether they had an annual physical examination(Monella, 2016). In addition, general information would be providedto develop a comprehensive health status. Therefore, the humanresources team established clear implications and consequences thatwould help Penn-Mart to achieve organizational objectives.

Point of Viewor Frame of Reference

The document waswritten from a broad point of view since it incorporated the feelingsand attitudes of several people (Eichhorn, 1996). Firstly, the Boardof Directors was concerned about the increasing costs associated withemployee healthcare benefits (Monella, 2016). Consequently, the humanresources team was tasked with developing strategies that could beused to reduce the company’s expenditure. Crucially, theresponsible personnel was obligated to evaluate Penn-Mart’sapproach to benefits (Monella, 2016). Subsequently, the humanresources team would develop a plan to streamline the firm’shealthcare strategy.

The establishmentof the “Get Well” initiative showed the desire to consider thefeelings of individual workers. Hence, employees would be required tosubmit to random health screening programs. Although staying fitwould reduce the spiraling costs of healthcare benefits, individualworkers benefited greatly (Monella, 2016). For example, it would helpworkers to avoid lifestyle diseases. Employees will also experience amarked improvement in their quality of life and temperament. The newprogram would also be called with a different name to appeal toworkers and convince them to accept the initiative (Monella, 2016).Moreover, biometric health screening would allow employees todiscover potential medical challenges (Monella, 2016). Subsequently,corrective treatment would have a better chance of eradicating thedisease. Therefore, the human resources team manifested a fair andflexible point of view by catering to the needs of both employees andthe Board.

Notwithstanding,the writers neither considered nor responded to objections raisedfrom other points of view (Eichhorn, 1996). For instance, they didnot imagine that some workers would turn down the opportunity totrain with them. Hence, the writers did not provide alternative formsof keeping fit for the employees lacking proper circumstances. Thehuman resources team also forced the workers to comply with the termsof “Get Well” by including punitive measures (Monella, 2016).Some staff members would have provided better suggestions on how toreduce the costs of insurance benefits. Therefore, the writers didnot consider the point of view of such workers.

The documentincludes several fallacies that are intended to heighten the validityof proposed recommendations. Firstly, an argument from consequencesis presented to magnify the importance of adhering to the “GetWell” program. In fact, non-compliant employees are threatened withpossible termination or fines (Monella, 2016). Other workers may beintimidated by the prospect of resigning from their posts or losingtheir health coverage (Monella, 2016). Consequently, the impendingthreat of sanctions is used to convince the Penn-Mart’s staffmembers to adopt the initiative. Furthermore, the use of figures andstatistics from group health underwriters constitutes an appeal tologic. The document also features instances that hail irrelevantauthority. For example, the human resources team referenced the FirstLady`s campaign and Mayor Bloomberg`s ban on soft drinks (Monella,2016). In this manner, the writers endeavor to convince the workersof the merits of the “Get Well” program.


Eichhorn, R. (1996). Developing thinking skills: Critical thinking atthe Army Management Staff College. Fort Belvoir, VA: ArmyManagement Staff College. Retrieved from

Monella, S. (2016, August 6). Recommendation for Revision ofPenn-Mart’s Health Care Strategy [Memorandum].