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Global well-being improvement provider, Healthways Inc. (HWAY - Analyst Report) forged a three-year agreement with Carondelet Health Network of Southern Arizona. The deal promises to introduce the former’s well-being improvement solutions to the 2,900 associates covered under Carondelet and to their family members. Healthways’ shares shot up as much as 4.6% in the trading session following the announcement of the deal.

In Feb 2013, the two companies started working jointly to measure the possibilities of addressing total population health in the Tucson market.

Under the new collaboration, Carondelet will implement a broad range of well-being initiatives from Healthways offerings.

The most prominent among them include Healthways’ Well-Being Improvement Solution, which is primarily a comprehensive set of interventions offering support for varied products ranging from online self-directed tools to intensive multi-modality lifestyle change programs. The Well-Being Improvement Solution consists of several other solutions like Gallup-Healthways Well-Being 5, which is both a scientific survey and  a reporting experience, used to measure an individual’s well-being and keep track of their progress with  well-being improvement activities.

The second solution is named Well-Being Connect (and the mobile version, wellbeingGO), a web-based behavior change application. It comprises of various, tools and techniques that are increasingly becoming important for catering to lifestyle issues like smoking, depression, excess weight and stress.

The third, Daily Challenge, is an interesting one as it claims to be an evidence-based social well-being intervention integrating behavior change and social networking science, based on gaming principles. The others include Health Risk Coaching, customized services to help individuals analyze and consequently reduce lifestyle risks; QuitNet – an intensive, integrated, multi-modal tobacco cessation solution, Innergy – a program formulated for individuals with a BMI of 30 or more who want to take part in weight-loss programs and High-Risk Cost Avoidance, a proactive approach to chronic condition management that helps predict and prevent avoidable high-cost health events.

Carondelet believes that use of such comprehensive solutions by their associates will help bring major improvements in lifestyle changes and result in overall health improvement.  On the organizational front, health care costs will come down with gains coming in from performance improvements.

Carondelet has chosen Healthways as partner in such a health care plan to bring in new healthy behaviors, mitigate health risks, and reduce health care costs of its associates. All the health care plans intend to bring about an improvement in the quality of life of their associates as well as their dependents.

Additionally, the success derived from such solutions can serve as a platform for expanding the reach of these services in the Tucson market.

Currently, Healthways carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Investors interested in the medical services industry can look at better-ranked stocks like Air Methods Corp. (AIRM - Snapshot Report), Covance Inc. (CVD - Analyst Report) and Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (CRL - Snapshot Report). All these stocks carry a Zack Rank #2 (Buy).

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