POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 26, 2011
Hawaii Medical Service Association said yesterday it is transferring 125 employees to a Tennessee-based health management company.
HMSA signed a 10-year agreement with Healthways Inc. of Franklin, Tenn., to take over HMSA's integrated health management functions and its HealthPass and other programs.
All affected employees will be offered positions in Hawaii at the same pay — or better — and comparable benefits, according to Healthways spokesman Bob Stone.
"Utilizing Healthways' nationally recognized expertise in health management and health coaching enables HMSA to streamline our core business functions, expand patient support services for our providers and continue working to create an economically sustainable health care delivery system in Hawaii," HMSA President and CEO Robert Hiam said.
Healthways has just under 3,000 employees worldwide, including 60 in an office in Kapolei. It has overseen HMSA's health coaching and CareConnection chronic disease programs for a decade.
Some of the employees to be transferred work for the HMSA subsidiary Integrated Services Inc., which provides health, wellness and prevention support to HMSA employer groups, health care providers and members.
Stone said Healthways will have to decide over the next 60 days whether to have the 125 employees stay at their existing locations or operate elsewhere in Hawaii. The transfer of the operations is effective April 1.
Healthways will be responsible for HMSA's disease management, care management, pharmacy benefit management and health promotion, prevention and quality improvement solutions and functions for the plan's approximately 700,000 members. HMSA is the largest health insurer in the state.
"We will not just be integrating services; we will also be further integrating those services with the delivery system," Healthways CEO Ben Leedle Jr. said.
The two organizations also said they will work to further the development and implementation of HMSA's statewide patient-centered medical home initiative.