Healthways lands Alabama deal

Latest SilverSneakers news comes after company said contract wins will pressure bottom line

Healthways has won another contract to market its fitness program for seniors, this time with BlueCross and BlueShield of Alabama.

The insurer has agreed to a three-year partnership with Franklin-based Healthways to offer its SilverSneakers Fitness Program to 42,000 of its eligible members in Alabama. The win for Healthways comes on the heels of similar contract signings in various parts of the country.

“We realize the importance physical activity plays in maintaining and improving health,” said Dr. Dow Briggs, senior vice president of business operations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. 

The recent successes with SilverSneakers and some other offerings haven't come without a price for Healthways, though. There are costs to these contractual victories and setting up programs is not cheap. In reporting his team's Q3 results, CEO Ben Leedle said profits will be lower than initially forecast late this year and into 2013 because of that set-up spending. Meaningful revenues and profits from many of the company's contracts can take between six and 18 months to being flowing.

Shares of Healthways (Ticker: HWAY) closed Tuesday trading at $9.88. Year to date, they're up more than 40 percent even after giving up more than 10 percent in the past week.