Four New Health Systems Partner with Healthways to Bring Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease to More Patients | Business Wire

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Four new health systems will partner with Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ:

HWAY), to bring the nationally renowned Dr. Ornish’s Program for

Reversing Heart Disease(Ornish Reversal Program) to

patients in their communities. The Ornish Reversal Program is the first

program scientifically proven to not only treat but reverse heart

disease through comprehensive lifestyle changes. Since late 2013, when

Healthways and Dr. Dean Ornish joined forces to expedite program

rollout, 17 hospitals and health systems have added the program to their

roster of treatment options for heart disease patients.

Healthways has finalized new agreements with Beacon Health System, South

Bend, Indiana. ‘Ekahi Health System, Honolulu, Hawaii. Hunterdon Medical

Center, Flemington, New Jersey. St. Vincent’s HealthCare,

Jacksonville, Florida.

“By offering the Ornish Reversal Program at our hospitals, we're

honoring our commitment to provide innovative healthcare and well-being

services of the highest quality at the greatest value,” said Michael J.

O’Neil, chief administrative officer, Beacon Health System. “Adding a

program that reverses the effects of heart disease through lifestyle

changes dramatically improves the overall health and well-being of our

patients, while moving us into the next era of cardiovascular care.”

The Ornish Reversal Program is based on more than three decades of

research showing that the progression of coronary artery disease and

other chronic conditions can be treated and reversed through lifestyle

changes, including exercise, stress management, nutrition and community

support. The program and Dr. Ornish’s research have been featured widely

in national media, including cover stories in Newsweek, TIME, U.S.

News &. World Report and The New York Times.His

research has been published in the leading peer-reviewed medical and

scientific journals.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be working with these new sites that'll

be offering our lifestyle medicine program for reversing heart disease

and other chronic conditions,” said Dr. Ornish. “My colleagues and I at

Healthways are grateful for the opportunity to work with them to create

a new paradigm of healthcare that empowers patients with knowledge and

support to transform their lives.”

The Ornish Reversal Program offers health systems an alternative to

existing treatment methodologies such as drugs or surgery at a time when

the prevalence and cost of cardiac disease are rising. Clinicians and

patients alike are increasingly interested in lifestyle change as

treatment that addresses the underlying causes of illness rather than

just managing the disease. In addition to reversing heart disease, the

Ornish Reversal Program has been proven to be effective in the

management of Type 2 diabetes, early-stage prostate cancer and other

chronic diseases.

“Patients with heart disease and its related chronic conditions are

among the biggest consumers of healthcare resources,” said Ben R.

Leedle, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Healthways. “By

addressing the root cause of their illness rather than simply treating

the symptoms, we see a dramatic improvement in quality of life while

decreasing utilization of high-cost treatments such as surgery. With

each new site to offer the Ornish Reversal Program, we're demonstrating

that lifestyle medicine works for patients and for healthcare providers

as they address market demand for more accountable care.”

In 2011, based on Dr. Ornish’s research, Congress and the Centers for

Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Medicare reimbursement for

individuals enrolled in the Ornish Reversal Program under a new

category, “Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation.” The program is currently

reimbursed nationwide by Medicare and by commercial payers in 17 states,

including Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Blue Cross Blue

Shield West Virginia, Hawai‘i Medical Services Association (HMSA), the

West Virginia Public Employe Insurance Agency (WVPEIA) and WellPoint

under its subsidiaries, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem Blue

Cross, Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of

Georgia. In addition, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Blue

Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, WVPEIA and HMSA have expanded their

coverage to include diabetes and other risk factors for heart disease

for qualified individuals.

About Dean Ornish, M.D.

Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit

Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of

Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ornish

received his M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine, was a clinical

fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School. Completed an

internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts

General Hospital. He earned a B.A. in humanities summa cum laude

from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate


Dr. Ornish was appointed by President Barack Obama to the White House

Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion. Integrative and

Public Health in 2010 and, previously, by President Clinton to the White

House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy in

2000. He chaired the Google Health Advisory Council 2007-2009.

He's received numerous national and professional awards including

being honored by LIFE magazine as “one of the fifty most

influential members of his generation,” being recognized as “one of the

most interesting people of 1996” by People. Having been

described in Forbes magazine as “one of the seven most powerful

teachers in the world.”

The Ornish diet, a critical component of the Ornish Program, was rated

#1 for heart health by U.S. News &. World Report in 2011,

2012, 2013 and 2014.

About Healthways

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

Healthways, Inc.
Chip Wochomurka, 615-614-4493
[email protected]