Abacus Health Solutions publishes diabetes management article in American Journal of Managed Care

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CRANSTON, R.I. — Abacus Health Solutions (Abacus), a pioneer in chronic health condition management, announces the publication of a new applied research article titled “Behavior-Based Diabetes Management:  Impact on Care, Hospitalizations, and Costs” in the American Journal of Managed Care, March 2021 edition.

Health care utilization enroll vs unenrolled participants of the Abacus Diabetes Care Rewards Program.

The study examines the impact of the Abacus Diabetes Care Rewards Program, a care management program used by employers nationally, on health outcomes, hospitalizations, and costs for diabetes populations.  The program utilizes principles of behavioral science and contingent incentives to drive completion of core diabetes care standards per the American Diabetes Association.  Participants who adhere to program activities are rewarded using a patented copayment waiver process for all diabetes medications and supplies.

The study used a retrospective observational cohort design to compare health care utilization and cost data between individuals who enrolled in the program and individuals who were eligible but not enrolled.  Nearly 14,000 individuals from 26 self-insured employers comprised the pool of enrolled and unenrolled study participants.  To be included in the study, members needed to have 24 months of continuous medical and pharmacy claims data within the Abacus data set.  Members were then matched using a propensity score matching technique between 2010 and 2017, resulting in a total study cohort of 3,318 with 1,659 in the enrolled group and 1,659 in the unenrolled group.

On patient engagement and activation measures, the enrolled group showed greater adherence to diabetes related care metrics including a 32% greater adherence to semi-annual HbA1c testing, along with a 20% decrease in members with an HbA1c >9.  Enrolled members also had an 80% greater likelihood to continue with their medication regimen.

On utilization and cost measures, enrolled members had 38% lower all-cause hospital admissions and 34% fewer hospital days, which resulted in a 21% lower medical cost trend for the enrolled vs. unenrolled population.

“The study provides a business case for employers and health plans to promote patient engagement though the use of relevant and behavior-contingent incentives which lead to better health outcomes, reduced hospitalizations and lower costs,” said Michael Follick, Ph.D. Abacus CEO & Co-Founder.

The study provides support for Abacus’ hypothesis that by using behavioral contingent incentives to promote patient provider engagement, employers and health plans can reduce the rates of gaps in care, high-cost health care utilization and total medical costs.


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