The best-performing Nashville-area stock so far this year this morning hit its highest levels in nearly five years, pushing higher on word that it has scored a deal to provide its wellness services to 650,000 Georgia state employees. Healthways shares (Ticker: HWAY) got to $18.99 today, a level they haven't hit intraday since October 2009 and above which they haven't closed since Sept. 10, 2008. So far this year, Healthways is up 75 percent.
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah announced Monday it is now offering the Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program, designed to keep older adults active and healthy, to its Medigap members. "While regular exercise is a crucial part of healthy living for people of all ages, it is particularly effective in preventing or managing chronic diseases for older adults," said Healthways President and CEO Ben Leedle Jr. in a release.
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Healthways has helped launch a program to help more than 3,000 Australians monitor their well-being from home. The new program builds on Healthways' relationship with nonprofit insurer HCF.
The program will utilize a range of easy-to-use WiFi-enabled devices, including weight scales, tools for measuring blood pressure, glucometers for monitoring blood glucose levels for people with diabetes or hypoglycaemia and oximeters for measuring the oxygen saturation levels in blood.
Healthways has announced it is partnering exclusively with Dr. Dean Ornish to operate and license his lifestyle management programs.
Terms of the partnership were not disclosed in a release.
U.S. News & World Report rated the Ornish diet No. 1 for heart health in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Within the medical and nutrition industries, the California-based Ornish (pictured) is known as a leader in evidence-based lifestyle treatments for chronic diseases.
"We have continued to evolve our comprehensive well-being improvement solution through a history of building, buying and partnering to integrate and deploy the very best evidence-based, scientifically proven methods available," said Ben Leedle, Healthways' president and CEO, said in the release. "Through our exclusive partnership with Dr. Dean Ornish, we will be able to deliver lifestyle behavior change as a powerful treatment method for more effectively managing and even reversing chronic diseases.”
Healthways has sold another $25 million of convertible notes, adding to the $125 million offering that was itself bigger than the company's original plan. The Franklin-based company netted more than $20 million to put toward trimming its debt levels or investing in growth initiatives. Check out all the details here.
Prominent BlueCross insurer Highmark, which has more than 5 million members in three states, has renewed its long-running contract with the SilverSneakers senior fitness program run by Healthways. The latest deal — Highmark has contracted with SilverSneakers since 2004 — runs through next year.
According to a 2012 survey, 57 percent of Highmark members who participate in SilverSneakers reported their health as excellent or very good, almost twice the national average of 32 percent for older adults. In addition, approximately 30 percent of surveyed members reported improvement in arthritis pain and lower back pain since participating in the program. Furthermore, 89 percent of Highmark SilverSneakers participants have either increased or maintained their aerobic activity level over the last year.
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