Tommy Headshot

Tommy Lewis, EVP and COO of Tivity Health. 

As a $2 billion sale of Franklin-based wellness company Tivity looms, Tommy Lewis is busy.

The Tivity EVP and COO recently sat on a panel at the HIMSS health care convention in Brentwood to discuss how to make health care accessible in the home. 

It’s something the company has experience doing, bringing its SilverSneakers senior fitness offerings digitally during the pandemic. Lewis said now in-person participation is re-energized, so Silver Sneakers offers a hybrid model. Tivity is also dipping into helping with food insecurity and nonpharmacologic pain solutions for seniors. 

Tivity was bought by a Connecticut-based investment firm for $2 billion earlier this month and taken private. Lewis says the transaction isn’t set to close until the third quarter of this year, and he doesn’t anticipate a major change for SilverSneakers due to the acquisition. 

Lewis sat down with Nashville Post to talk about what’s next for Tivity. 

What was your biggest takeaway from the panel on health care in the home?

It's clear that there is a movement toward the home and it seems like there are motivated parties all across the health care ecosystem for that to happen. Historically, you might have seen some resistance from certain participants, such as hospitals, for example. With the labor challenges that we have, people are looking at that as a mitigation or solution to some of their labor shortfalls. There seems to be really good alignment. 

What needs to happen is equitable reimbursement. We need to be sure that that reimbursement is properly aligned regardless of the modality of care.

Describe the purpose of WholeHealth living. 

This is an alternative to opioids or surgeries for pain management. This is a service that we provide on behalf of many of our health plan clients and it includes treatment such as acupuncture, chiropractic, therapeutic massage, [physical therapy, occupational therapy.]

It's a relatively small part of our business but growing, and we're really excited about it. We're investing in that business because there's such a need for it. 

What do you think are some of the most important points to try to effectively serve people who are 65+ these days?

It's giving them the opportunity to be active — to be physically active, to be socially active, mentally active.

What do you think is the future of home health care for Tivity?

I think for us, our focus will be around physical fitness, social engagement and mental enrichment. We've recently launched an offering around mental enrichment [through a partnership with GetSetUp]. It's new, but we're seeing really good uptake related to that. It's a great complement to SilverSneakers and so those are sort of three areas we're focused on now. We believe the SilverSneakers brand has permission to do more. It's a trusted brand. It's a well respected brand. The brand has permission to do more and we'll continue to add new elements to the platform.

Anything else that you want to add?

We are evolving from a gym access company to a platform-engagement company. We're making considerable investments around technology for our platform, technology around engagement, and our martech capabilities. That is all to serve the purpose of growing the SilverSneakers brand, extending it being able to offer new services on the platform. 

We believe SilverSneakers has the potential to evolve to a platform engagement company with a great deal of digital assets to support that.