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Leading well-being enhancement company Healthways (HWAY - Analyst Report) and Wellmont Health System recently revealed that their joint efforts in (population) health management resulted in the choice of Wellmont Integrated Network Accountable Care Organization (ACO) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

The two organizations will provide resources to set up the ACO. For its part, Healthways will furnish offerings that will help measure the health condition of over 10,000 Medicare fee-for-service enrollees to be served by the ACO using the set up of the Wellmont Health System. The partnership between the two parties is intended to shape health care delivery in south-west Virginia and north-east Tennessee. The two parties have set up goals to grow the proportion of fit people, reduce chronic disease and improve on other key parameters.  

The ACO is committed to accomplish the goals set by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which includes 33 quality measures on preventive health, patient safety and other critical parameters.

Wellmont Health System provides health services in south-west Virginia and north-east Tennessee. The health system includes eight full service hospitals, with a broad range of offerings. 

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 for 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 caters to over nine million eligible enrollees.

The SilverSneakers Fitness Program encourages older people to regularly exercise, thereby reducing healthcare expenses and enhancing well being. The program promotes positive changes in behavior by meshing social encounters with its fitness regimen. Healthways competes with Express Scripts Holding Company (ESRX - Analyst Report) among others.

Currently, Healthways retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Air Methods Corp. (AIRM - Snapshot Report) and Covance Inc. (CVD - Analyst Report) carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and are expected to do well. 

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