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Total Wellness: The Best Argument for Regulating the Wellness Industry

Do you know whether heartburn pills are safe for long-term use?

Total Wellness, having been “profiled” on this blog for being second only to Star Wellness in “playing doctor” with inappropriate employee screening, isn’t about to lose this race to the bottom without a fight.

So in order to try to out-stupid Star Wellness, Total is offering yet another test (they are now up to 8) either rated D by the United States Preventive Services Task Force or (in the case of Chem-20s and Complete Blood Counts) not rated as preventive screens at all because [WARNING: Spoiler Alert]: these two aren’t preventive screens. They are tests, but Total Wellness apparently doesn’t know the difference between a screen and a test.  

For those of you who also don’t know it — and you aren’t required to because you’re not poking employees with needles to fulfill your mother’s fantasy of you becoming a doctor — a screen is done wholesale on everyone in order to hunt for disease and then brag about how many sick people you found.   You’ll find plenty if you force employees to either participate or forfeit lots of money.  Like Total Wellness says, you need to be “stern” about making employees submit to these worthless and harmful screens.  And being “stern” means it’s wellness–or else:

By contrast, a test is what a real doctor might order — if an actual patient presents with relevant symptoms. Chem-20s and CBCs haven’t been used as screens for decades. Even the professional organization whose physician members get paid to perform them doesn’t recommend them. “These tests rarely identify clinically significant problems when performed routinely on an outpatient population.

Here is Total Wellness’s Totally Inappropriate Screen #8, along with the USPSTF grade:

total wellness pulmonary function

USPSTF spirometry

Doctors routinely performing and billing these 8 “preventive” screens could and should lose their licenses.  The good news for Total Wellness is that they aren’t going to lose their license for inappropriately screening employees, for the simple reason that you don’t need a license in order to inappropriately screen employees.

Quite the contrary.  Unlike in regular grown-up type healthcare, in the wellness industry any idiot can perform these screens and tests as long as that idiot can find an even bigger idiot willing to pay for them.

Quizzify Q in B and W

Do your employees know what screening tests are actually worthwhile & which ones are scams?

Is this a great country or what?

By the way, if you haven’t read the originals  for Total Wellness or Star Wellness, you’re in for a treat.  Some of our best work.  Helps to have such great material to start with.


  1. Tom Emerick says:

    great article. thanks


  2. […] guidelines with impunity, forcing employees to undergo tests that no doctor would ever order and that get D ratings from the US Preventive Services Task Force […]


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