Healthways inks pair of big deals

Company signs up Chicago, one of country's largest faith-based nonprofit systems

Healthways has landed major contracts in two of the country's largest markets.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced late Monday that the City of Chicago has selected the company to oversee its wellness program. Under the terms of the contract, Healthways will manage the wellness program for the city’s 47,000 employees and their dependents. The announcement says the contract, which lasts until 2015, is the “largest, most comprehensive government wellness program ever introduced and rivals any private-sector wellness program in its size, breadth of offerings and comprehensive approach.”

“This innovative wellness program will allow our employees to take control of their own health and improve their quality of life, which will help them better enjoy their workplace, their city and their time with their families,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am pleased that Chicago is leading the way in employee wellness.”

The company also announced today a 10-year strategic agreement with Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the country. THR runs more than 20 hospitals that are home to 3,800 beds in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The companies said their partnership will encourage people there to “fundamentally transform the way people think about their ‘health.’”

“The cost of health care in this country continues to rise at an alarming rate,” noted Healthways CEO Ben Leedle. “Regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C., Healthways is going to work with health systems like Texas Health to tackle this problem.” contacted Healthways for further details about the contracts but had not heard back by the time of publication.

Shares of Healthways (Ticker: HWAY) are up more than 3 percent today. At about 12:45 p.m., they were trading at $6.89. They're essentially flat year to date.