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Healthways Inc. (HWAY - Analyst Report) recently forged an agreement with UCLA Health System to make the latter an approved provider of the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease in southern California. Following the announcement of the deal, Healthways’ shares shot up as much as 3.7% in the trading session. The services will be offered at the Westwood campus, which has been designed specifically to deliver a superior patient experience.

Lifestyle management health programs aim at making thorough evaluation of individuals to help them improve their eating habits, and manage stress and overall lifestyle changes.

The deal follows the partnership that had been forged last year in July with Dr. Ornish. Per the deal, Healthways had undertaken the responsibility to operate and license his lifestyle management programs.

The lifestyle management programs designed by Ornish are known to be effective in the treatment, and reversal of the impact of coronary artery disease, Type 2 diabetes and early-stage prostate cancer, among other chronic diseases.

Presently, value-based reimbursement systems are becoming increasingly popular. These programs provide incentives for improving patients’ basic health in a cost-efficient manner. Such initiatives encourage citizens to pay heed to health requirements by effectively controlling escalating health care costs.

Low levels of productivity across businesses and communities, on account of health issues, are a plaguing concern. It is thus believed that proper implementation of such unique health management programs is necessary to fight and overcome such problems in the long term.

Under, the collaboration, Healthways will be responsible for designing the staff and participant curricula, including structuring the online presence of the program. Training of the staff will be taken care of by Healthways while UCLA Health System will arrange the staff, facilities and billing infrastructure.

Both Healthways and UCLA Health System look forward to introduce such health initiatives in future to offer lifestyle-changing services and thus, enhance the overall quality of life in general.

Currently, Healthways has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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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