Even by wellness industry standards, Provant Health’s business practices earned it our first multi-part series. It required nine parts to do them justice…
And now they are bankrupt too. Their remaining assets are being purchased by Quest Diagnostics, a reference lab company no doubt hoping to run additional lab tests on Provant’s dwindling employee base.
We knew this was coming because they had already started cutting back on spending, by dropping their internet connection, and hence didn’t realize that employees are not supposed to drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Here is a real-life example of what an employer can expect to achieve by spending a million bucks on these very stable geniuses:
BMI and glucose got worse. Somehow, blood pressure stayed the same — 120 over 75. Yes, despite the average employee being almost prediabetic, and sporting a 40-inch waist for males (and close to that for females), pretty much everyone in this company has ideal blood pressure. One explanation for this would be that Provant, whatever their shortcomings in weight control, are the world’s leading experts in all things cardio. (And that’s even before they started — when everyone in this company already had ideal blood pressure.)
That expertise might also explain how they were able to keep the cardiac ratio so low. An alternative explanation might be that there is no such thing as a “cardiac ratio.” (Google it.) I’ve heard of wellness vendors making up data, but this is a first–making up an entire metric to present its made-up data. Maybe the reason Quest Diagnostics purchased them was to develop a new lab test for cardiac ratios.
The good news is that, despite these underwhelming results, Provant was able to beat its targets, which is easy enough if you move the goalposts to the 50 yard line:
So much winning! Provant “wins” if the average employee is overweight but not quite obese yet, has glucose only 74 points higher than the threshold to be considered diabetic, and is only borderline hypertensive. No target is set for the cardiac ratio, of course, because it doesn’t exist.
In that sense the cardiac ratio is not unlike Provant itself.