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Healthways Puts Focus on Providers

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 8, 2012

Cigna announced in October 2011 intentions to run its own wellness programs. Its Healthways contract is winding down and will expire in February 2013. O'Neil says continued interest by health plans demonstrates that population health is a robust concept.

He says Healthways is targeting more regional health plans, which are less likely to have the resources to develop their own programs. A move to attract employer groups, who see population health as a way to save money on healthcare costs, gained Healthways contracts to manage wellness programs for 122,000 state employees and dependents in Ohio and 47,000 city employees and dependents in Chicago. Both contracts run for three years and include data collection, biometric screenings and behavior coaching.

Health systems are expected to play a major role in the Healthways revenue model. Farris says Healthways has identified several potential markets and is looking at large health systems that "share our view" about population health management. O'Neil says Healthways has 20 similar deals in the pipeline.

Although THR and Healthways declined to put a dollar value on their relationship, it's clear that THR has the potential to be to be one Healthways' top clients. O'Neil notes that Cigna accounted for about $110 million in annual revenue. He estimates that over the next few years THR has the potential to contribute as much as $30 million in annual revenues.

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