Well-being enhancement company
) recently revealed that AvMed Health Plans has extended, by a
couple of years through 2014, its offering of Healthways
SilverSneakers Fitness Program. SilverSneakers may be accessed by
over 31,000 AvMed Medicare Advantage enrollees in Miami-Dade and
The SilverSneakers Fitness Program encourages older people to
regularly exercise, thereby yielding reduced healthcare expenses
and enhanced well being. The program promotes positive changes in
behavior by meshing social encounters with its fitness regimen. It
was founded in 1993 and caters to over nine million eligible
enrollees through 15,000 fitness facilities.
The payback from the SilverSneakers program may be gleaned from the
SilverSneakers Fitness Program 2011 AvMed Annual Member Survey. The
results indicate that AvMed SilverSneakers enrollees reported
better health than the national cohort. In addition, they were less
likely to report chronic illnesses, such as hypertension and
For more than 40 years, AvMed Health Plans has been a provider of
health coverage in Florida. It offers a variety of products and
plans for individuals and employers in several counties. AvMed has
granted its eligible enrollees access to SilverSneakers since 2010.
The Healthways model encourages people to make favorable lifestyle
changes that lead to enhanced well-being, reduced healthcare costs,
improved performance and economic value for customers. The company
has invested in technology platforms that provide scalable support
with large populations. It has tie-ups with a large proportion of
U.S. health plans and counts many millions of lives in its customer
Due to its unique scalable business model, Healthways shares may
present a long-term investment opportunity, although it faces many
challenges in the short term.
Healthways is the leader in a strategically critical and rapidly
evolving part of the health care services market. Its fitness
program (SilverSneakers) for seniors is available at 14,000 centers
across the U.S. and caters to several million eligible enrollees.
Healthways competes with
) among others.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Healthways. The stock
retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold
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