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Wellsteps’ Steve Aldana gives bullies a good name

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

There he goes again.

By way of background, Wellsteps was caught harming Boise’s employees and lying about outcomes. His Boise School District friends no longer talk to the media now that they realize they got snookered — and after he blamed them for the failure of the program.  Wellsteps got some major unfavorable press in STATNews, in which Steve Aldana admitted that his program wasn’t responsible for seeming improvements in the “worst health behaviors.” Rather it was the regression to the mean.

For a full write-up, see “Protecting Employees from Harmful Vendored Wellness Programs,” American Journal of Managed Care, October 10, 2016.

Yes, Wellsteps’ Steve Aldana is acting out.  He is frustrated because we find such a ridiculous number of “mistakes” (actually lies, since mistakes get corrected when they are pointed out) in his work.  Since all our findings are correct, there’s nothing he can do except whine.

He is even attacking us — WELCOA, Salveo Partners, myself and hundreds of others — for supporting the Employee Health Program Code of Conduct.  (For the uninitiated, the Code is designed to prevent wellness vendors like Wellsteps from harming employees, which I guess is why they are attacking it.)

And so, he calls me a bully. He also calls esteemed health/science reporter Sharon Begley a “lier,” so I am in great company, sort of like being on Nixon’s enemies list.

I’m not going to go line by line through his posting (which I can’t see anyway, because he knows better than to get into a public debate, so he blocks me from seeing it — I am finding out second-hand), except to ask a couple of questions.  If I am a bully:

He could get rich off my bullying, and make a sizable charitable donation. If what I do fits his definition of bullying, then, Mr. Aldana, please bully me. Offer to send me money and give me rewards for finding mistakes in your work.  Don’t make me beg!


  1. Mitch Collins says:

    Another of your BFF holiday buddies?:)


    • whynobodybelievesthenumbers says:

      They say the measure of a man (or woman, but this was a quote from a long time ago) is in the enemies he makes. And I am very proud to call Steve Aldana an enemy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Samiam says:

    Did you see that in Aldana’s entire rant he doesn’t once say you are inaccurate?


    • whynobodybelievesthenumbers says:

      Just like Sharon Begley commented when he accused her of being a “lier,” I will of course fix any mistakes that are identified. And just like Sharon Begley, he hasn’t identified any.

      I will also send $1000 to the person I mis-criticized, and I will publicly apologize.


  3. I saw the post, and he slams the Code of Conduct…and with that calls myself, Jon, Ryan Picarella and the entire organization of WELCOA, and hundreds of great professionals who “liked” the Code posting and are endorsing it bullies. Why is having a standard for ethical practices in an industry bullying? It’s the antithesis of it by trying to Do No Harm and weed out the good providers from those that are harming people and not following sound science.


    • whynobodybelievesthenumbers says:

      Perhaps he misses the irony that the Code of Conduct is about protecting employees from bullying wellness programs. As I have noted many times, irony is lost on these wellness people.


  4. BTW, the full post is on their website, not in a LinkedIn Group – but certainly they won’t post comments that are anything but supportive:


  5. Rick says:

    If they are going to lob bombs and throw out character assassinations, they should allow those attacked to respond. I hope they heed your advice and allow for a discussion.


  6. Sharon Begley says:

    Mr. Aldana did not report any mistakes to me or my editor. We do correct all mistakes.


  7. Marissa says:

    Weren’t these the people who said: “It’s fun to get fat. It’s fun to be lazy.”


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