NASHVILLE, Tenn. & SAO PAULO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Global well-being improvement leader Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ: HWAY), and SulAmérica (BM&FBovespa: SULA11), the largest independent insurer in Brazil, have formed a joint venture that brings a bold new approach to total population health to the Brazilian market. Operating as Healthways Brazil, the joint venture will introduce comprehensive well-being improvement solutions directly to employers, public entities and governments, private health plans, providers and individuals throughout Brazil. Research shows that improving well-being lowers healthcare costs and improves productivity for individuals and across populations, including workforces, organizations, communities, cities, states and countries.
Healthways and SulAmérica are bringing well-being improvement to Brazil at an optimal time. The private health insurance system is the second largest in the world, covering more than 50 million lives or almost 25 percent of the population, and is one of the fastest growing private healthcare markets in the Americas. At the same time, an aging population and high incidences of chronic disease are straining the healthcare system. Well-being improvement is a proven, innovative approach to positively influence total population health.
“We have studied the American healthcare market closely over the years and observed the deployment of various strategies designed to help an individual to sustainably change his behavior which will improve the quality of life and have to bend the curve,” said Gabriel Portella, president of SulAmérica. “The most promising of those strategies is improving the well-being of individuals across the population by addressing the root causes of poor health, which are not solely physical. Work or financial stress, lack of social connections, loss of purpose, community safety — these are all factors that drive lifestyle behaviors and risks such as smoking, inactivity and obesity, all of which are proven to both lead to and complicate many cases of chronic disease. Healthways not only pioneered this approach but has proven solutions that will help us deliver significant value to our members and the overall Brazilian population. We consider it our obligation to help shape the future of healthcare in Brazil by giving all Brazilian organizations the opportunity to benefit from the services this new partnership provides, and we are proud to offer these solutions.”
Well-being is a concept that goes beyond physical health to encompass the important aspects of how individuals feel about and experience their daily lives. The five elements of well-being — one’s sense of purpose, social connections, financial confidence, closeness to community and physical status— all contribute to an individual’s overall health and well-being. For individuals, high well-being means living better and longer; for employers, improving well-being lowers costs and improves workforce productivity; for healthcare providers and insurers, addressing well-being is an effective way to manage risk and deliver value; and for communities and government, high well-being is critical to economic vitality. Well-being improvement, therefore, is a core strategy to keep healthy people healthy, mitigate health risks and optimize care for those with chronic conditions.
The joint venture marks the evolution of a partnership launched in 2013 to bring Healthways solutions to SulAmérica’s health plan members. The joint venture signifies a fundamental shift for SulAmérica from claims administration and coverage to active support of members on their paths to better health and well-being. In addition to offering its solutions broadly in the Brazilian market, Healthways Brazil will be the exclusive well-being provider to SulAmérica’s 2 million health plan members.
“Aligning our capabilities with partners around the world that share our vision for improving population health through well-being is proving to be a successful formula for Healthways,” said Peter Choueiri, president, Healthways International. “In our work together to date, SulAmérica has demonstrated its commitment to bringing real innovation and change to the healthcare market in Brazil by embracing well-being improvement as a sustainable path to better health for its members. Our long-term commitment is indicative of our mutual determination to help the people of Brazil lead healthier, happier and more productive lives.”
“This joint venture is another step forward in our global strategy of partnering with organizations that are at risk for health-related costs, whether direct medical costs, indirect costs associated with lost productivity, or both, by helping change behaviors across an entire population to proactively reduce the causes and effects of disease,” said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Healthways. “We are seeing a groundswell of interest in and adoption of well-being improvement as a way to transform healthcare through total population health management. SulAmérica and other forward-thinking organizations understand that this is the only way to radically change the underlying trends of health, costs and quality in our populations. We applaud the leadership of SulAmérica for acting on their bold vision to bring lasting change and value for all of Brazil.”
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 68 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.healthways.com.
SulAmérica is the largest independent insurer in the country. The company is listed on the BM&FBovespa at Level 2 of Corporate Governance since October 2007. In 2014, the company recorded total revenues of US$ 16.9 billion and net recurring profit record of R$ 548.7 million. Established in 1895, the company operates in various lines of insurance such as health and dental, vehicles and other property and casualty insurance. With over seven million customers, SulAmérica still operates in personal insurance, pensions, investments and saving bonds.