SAN ANTONIO, May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS), the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager, and Healthways (Nasdaq: HWAY), the industry-leading provider of Health and Care(SM) support services, today announced the opening of an innovative new center that will provide personalized support and advocacy services to patients managing health risks and chronic conditions. The Medco Center for Health Action, created in collaboration with Healthways, is uniquely positioned to help people make sustainable lifestyle changes for healthier living.
The Medco Center for Health Action will be staffed by more than 200 employees at capacity and will house both Medco and Healthways colleagues organized into Health Action Teams consisting of nurses, specialist pharmacists, health coaches, benefit specialists and other health specialists. These teams collaborate to deliver superior advocacy and support services early in the management of a chronic illness, and offer behavior management strategies related to lifestyle issues and health risks such as weight management or tobacco use.
"Two years ago, Medco and Healthways formed an alliance to provide an enhanced member experience called Optimal Health(TM), which combines Medco's advanced pharmacy care model and therapy expertise with Healthways' unique approach to health management to provide our clients a more robust service offering," said Kenneth Klepper, president and chief operating officer, Medco. "This Center takes Optimal Health to the next level by bringing specialists together in one center to collaborate on behalf of each member's personal needs, thus providing a more comprehensive, coordinated and impactful experience for the member."
Members managing a health risk or a chronic condition, such as asthma or diabetes, who are enrolled in Optimal Health and require coaching or counseling are assigned to a Health Action Team who collaborate to help them better understand their condition and provide them with support to make sustainable behavior and lifestyle changes so their condition is managed optimally. Having a diverse team made up of nurses, specialist pharmacists, pharmacy benefit specialists and health coaches provides members with a well-rounded experience that touches all components necessary for successful management of their condition, from using medications properly to changing their diet to beginning an exercise program.
"Our fractured health care system demands innovative ways to manage the entire spectrum of health needs of individuals and populations. This collaboration between Healthways and Medco is a huge step in the right direction -- offering comprehensive health solutions while reducing overall health care costs," said Ben Leedle, president and CEO of Healthways. "Access to specialist pharmacists with real-time health and pharmaceutical information, paired with Healthways' systems of nurses and health care coaches, is going to make a real difference in people's health and well being."
Using advanced technology, the Health Action Teams are provided with a member's pharmacy, medical and laboratory histories (in accordance with applicable privacy regulations), which allows them to provide enhanced and more personalized services, and identify earlier opportunities to improve the member's health. Leveraging Medco's role as the primary pharmacy provider and its thousands of touch points with members and physicians, Health Action Teams are able to engage members faster and at a time when they are most receptive to coaching -- at the time of diagnosis, during a change in treatment, or when the member is already talking to a Medco pharmacist about his or her medications.
"These are real human connections going on between our Health Action Teams and our members every day on the phone, but those interactions are driven by a deep and innovative technology that allows each call to be the most effective, efficient intervention that it can be," said Stephen Grant, vice president of operations, at the new Medco Center for Health Action. "The technology built into the infrastructure with our members truly is an industry differentiator and a big part of what will define our success."
Great Health Begins in San Antonio
Medco and Healthways selected San Antonio to be the home of the Medco Center for Health Action because of its robust population of health care specialists. The Center, located in the Tech Ridge I business complex on Silicon Drive in the north central area, began limited operations in February 2008, and became fully operational in March 2008.
"Due to the unique nature of our work in the Medco Center for Health Action, we needed to select a location that would provide us with a talented workforce. Of all of the cities we considered, San Antonio's personality, business-friendly environment and talented health care workforce provided the perfect environment for this Center, which is so focused on wellness and healthy lifestyles," Klepper said.
"The Medco Center for Health Action is a great addition to San Antonio's health care and bioscience industry, and is another example of a strong, quality business recognizing the benefits of operating from this location," said Randall Cain, Chairman of the Board of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and Managing Partner of Ernst & Young San Antonio. "We are always looking for ways to attract high quality employment opportunities to San Antonio and are pleased to welcome great health care partners."
Healthways is the leading provider of specialized, comprehensive Health and Care Support(SM) solutions to help millions of people maintain or improve their health and, as a result, reduce overall health care costs. Healthways' solutions are designed to help healthy individuals stay healthy, mitigate and slow the progression of disease associated with family or lifestyle risk factors and promote the best possible health for those already affected by disease. Our proven, evidence-based programs provide highly specific and personalized interventions for each individual in a population, irrespective of age or health status, and are delivered to consumers by phone, mail, internet and face-to-face interactions, both domestically and internationally. Healthways also provides a national, fully accredited complementary and alternative Health Provider Network, offering convenient access to individuals who seek health services outside of, and in conjunction with, the traditional health care system. For more information, please visit http://www.healthways.com.
Medco Health Solutions, Inc., (NYSE: MHS) is the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager based on its 2007 total net revenues of more than $44 billion. Medco's prescription drug benefit programs, covering approximately one in five Americans, are designed to drive down the cost of pharmacy health care for private and public employers, health plans, labor unions and government agencies of all sizes, and for individuals served by the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program and those served by its specialty pharmacy segment, Accredo Health Group. Medco, the world's most advanced pharmacy(TM), is positioned to serve the unique needs of patients with chronic and complex conditions through its Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers(R), including its enhanced diabetes pharmacy care practice through the Liberty acquisition. Medco is the highest-ranked independent pharmacy benefit manager on the 2008 Fortune 100 list. On the Net: http://www.medco.com.
|SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.|
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved