Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Atmospherics Just Keep Getting Worse for Healthways

With all the bad news that the company has had to endure, now this:

Shares of Healthways, a Franklin-based health management company, edged almost 5 percent lower on Thursday, two days after a Goldman Sachs analyst said the firm could be a takeover target now that its stock is so low-priced.

And who would be doing the targeting you ask?

But Thomas Carroll, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore, said he believes that Ben R. Leedle Jr., the company's relatively young chief executive officer, doesn't want to sell out. Carroll said that if Healthways were to sell, a pharmacy benefits manager would be the most likely buyer. "Then, maybe a company like Walgreens," he said. "Probably not a managed care organization. I'd be surprised to see that."

The Disease Management Care Blog has had an ongoing interest in Healthways because it's a bellwether for the for-profit DM industry. The DMCB has predicted in prior posts that 'combined' or 'integrated' approaches to population health are likely. Who would have thought that combined or integrated could be synonymous with merger or acquisition.

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