We cannot, cannot make this stuff up.
Wellsteps, which could take lessons in integrity from the presidential candidates, was obviously fabricating the outcomes for its Boise School District. How do we know this? Simple. Costs can’t rise and fall at the same time, even using wellness industry math. And yet Wellsteps claimed they did.
As soon as we saw how obviously, hilariously invalid their result was, we predicted that Wellsteps would win a Koop Award for the Boise School District. We based this prediction on the combination of data fabrication, cronyism, nonsense, and cluelessness which are the DNA of both that award and of Wellsteps’ phony outcomes. Our only mistake was thinking they would win in 2015, but you’ll see at the end, we said that if they didn’t win in 2015, it was because they were late, and would win in 2016, which is what they just did.
Note when you compare Wellsteps Stumbles Onward: Costs Rise and Fall at the Same Time to their current press release, you’ll see there is something missing from the latter. They removed the “smoking gun,” which invalidates the entire program. In both documents, they said costs absolutely declined across the whole population, including non-participants…
…but on a per capita basis the costs of both participants and non-participants increased, at least in their initial writeup. This slide below has now been conveniently disappeared from their press release. I suspect this is not an accident. Here it is:
Participants’ cost rose just a little while non-participants’ cost rose a lot. This separation is due to the proven fallacy of the participants-vs-non-participants methodology. Even so, the line graph says the whole enchilada at Boise declined, not just the participants.
The only way per capita costs could increase AND total costs decline is if the program is so bad that employees prefer to join their spouse’s health plan, or if the number of employees declines. But even the most dishonest wellness vendor wouldn’t credit either of those changes to their wellness program, and no member of the Koop Award Committee could “overlook” that impossibility.
Or would they?
Be sure to read the second installment, where we dive even deeper into the Wellsteps doodoo.