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Well-being enhancement company Healthways (HWAY - Analyst Report) recently revealed that it has extended its understanding with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to carry on as an administrator of the HealthyRewards wellness curriculum for 220,000 Excellus BCBS HealthyBlue plan enrollees. Healthways has been the administrator of the program for Excellus BCBS from 2008 onwards. Their agreement continues till 2013 and favors an outcome intended to identify and reinforce positive behavior patterns in the commercial segment. 

As program administrator, Healthways provides complete client services for HealthyRewards. Its services include multi-faceted areas such as data extraction, awards redemption and reporting.

As an online incentive program, HealthyRewards is intended to persuade HealthyBlue enrollees to adopt an active posture in managing health-related matters. In fact, enrollees can win financial bonuses in HealthyRewards by adopting a better lifestyle. Participants can earn points by exercising, undergoing check ups and engaging in healthy behaviors.  

The Healthways model encourages people to make favorable lifestyle changes that lead to enhanced well-being, reduced healthcare costs, improved performance and economic value for customers. The company has invested in technology platforms that provide scalable support with large populations. It has tie-ups with a large proportion of U.S. health plans and counts many millions of lives in its customer base.

Due to its unique scalable business model, Healthways shares may present a long-term investment opportunity, although it faces many challenges in the short term.

Healthways is the leader in a strategically critical and rapidly evolving part of the health care services market. Its fitness program (SilverSneakers) for seniors is available at over 15,000 centers across the U.S. and is available to over nine million eligible enrollees through Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage plans and group retiree plans. Healthways competes with Express Scripts (ESRX - Analyst Report) among others.

We currently have an Outperform recommendation on Healthways. The stock retains a Zacks #1 Rank, which translates into a short-term Strong Buy rating.

 

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