Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) and Wellmont Health System today described how their collaborative efforts in population health management recently led to the selection of the Wellmont Integrated Network Accountable Care Organization (ACO) in Medicare’s Shared Savings Program. In 2012, Healthways assisted Wellmont in preparing its ACO application and working through the selection process. Together, the two organizations will use their respective resources and capabilities to facilitate the work of this ACO. Healthways will supply solutions that will assist in evaluating and coordinating the health and well-being of the more than 10,000 Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries expected to be served by the ACO through the network of physicians, providers, and hospitals delivering care through Wellmont Health System. The Wellmont Health System and Healthways partnership announced in October of 2012 was specifically created to evolve the way health care is delivered in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Goals have been established to help increase the region’s percentage of “healthy” people; reduce per capita health-related risk; lower incidence and prevalence of chronic illness; create fewer complications from known chronic disease; lower morbidity; reduce utilization of healthcare services; reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions; lower medical cost; increase productivity and performance; and extend life expectancy. Coming out of that partnership, the collaborative work to design the ACO was focused on achieving the requirements established by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), including 33 quality measures on care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and patient and caregiver experience of care. ACOs must meet quality standards to ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe, and timely. "It is important that the Medicare beneficiaries in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia are able to consistently access high-quality, coordinated care and support," said Denny DeNarvaez, president and CEO of Kingsport-based Wellmont. "We are establishing this ACO with help from Healthways to work through our recognized and coordinated, integrated provider network. We are about more than just treating the sick – we also value our ability to keep people well and keep them out of the hospital. The implementation of the ACO is geared toward the premise that healthier people cost less, and we intend to prove that point while improving the quality of care and support we deliver.”
"We were honored when Healthways was chosen as a partner back in October to improve wellness and lower health-related costs for the people served by Wellmont,” said Healthways CEO, Ben R. Leedle, Jr. “Now we have collaborated to take a significant step forward in the process of improving the health of people in the communities they serve. By having the Wellmont Integrated Network ACO selected in Medicare, we begin together down the path to ultimately reach all the people served by Wellmont with new and innovative solutions.”About Healthways Healthways is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant's health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 40 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.healthways.com. About Wellmont Wellmont Health System is the premier provider of healthcare services in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, delivering top-quality, comprehensive healthcare and wellness services. The Wellmont system was formed in July 1996 with the merger of Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., and Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tenn. Wellmont has grown to include eight full-service hospitals: acute care hospitals Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tenn., Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Norton, Va., Lee Regional Medical Center in Pennington Gap, Va., Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap, Va., and Hawkins County Memorial Hospital in Rogersville, Tenn., and a critical access hospital in Sneedville, Tenn. Wellmont is an operating partner with Adventist Health System at Takoma Regional Hospital, an acute care hospital in Greeneville, Tenn. Wellmont hospitals offer a broad scope of services ranging from community-based acute care to highly specialized tertiary services including neonatal intensive care and two trauma centers. Wellmont is one of the region’s largest employers with a staff of nearly 7,000 dedicated professionals. Nearly 600 physicians deliver care at Wellmont facilities. Wellmont hospitals have been recognized as Top 100 performers in heart care, intensive care and performance improvement. Learn more at wellmont.org.