Patient centered chronic care is a difficult one to set up and negotiate in Australia – a country with universal Medicare. Disease Management here is listed within the state’s agenda – but not separately funded.
Healthways International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ: HWAY), today announced a five-year agreement to offer comprehensive Health and Care SupportSM solutions to The Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Limited (HCF), one of the largest private health insurers in Australia with over 1 million members. Healthways has successfully entered markets on three continents in the past 12 months, continuing evidence that the health care and productivity issues faced by U.S. health plans, employers and government payers are global issues.
Through the agreement, Healthways will provide proactive support to HCF members with chronic conditions to help slow the progression of their illness. All HCF members will have access to a comprehensive suite of Internet-based health and wellness resources, including customized health information, health risk assessments, health coaching and online, personal health records. Services will focus on prevention, education, behavior change and evidence-based medicine to drive adherence to proven standards of care, medications and physician care plans.
“This collaboration with Healthways allows HCF to implement best-in-class preventive and care management strategies that will keep our healthy members healthy, while improving health and reducing complications for those members with chronic conditions,” said Terry Smith, HCF Chief Executive Officer.
A report issued by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare further confirms that chronic diseases are a major health concern in Australia, placing great burden on individuals, communities and the health industry. More than one-fifth of hospital stays are due to common chronic disease, and $11 billion in national health expenditures are attributed to chronic disease.2