Using behavioral incentives to encourage engagement by patient providers can lower overall medical costs.
The study examines the impact of the Abacus Diabetes Care Rewards program, a care management program used by employers at the national level, on health outcomes, hospital stays and costs for diabetic patients. The program uses behavioral science principles and potential incentives to drive compliance with key standards for diabetes care as defined by the American Diabetes Association. Participants who abide by program activities will be rewarded with a patented co-payment waiver process for all diabetes medication and supplies.
The study used a retrospective observational cohort design to compare health care utilization and cost data between people who participated in the program and people who were eligible but not enrolled. Almost 14,000 people from 26 self-insured employers formed the pool of enrolled and non-enrolled study participants. To be included in the study, members were required to have 24 months of continuous data on medical and pharmacy-related claims in the Abacus dataset. Members were then matched between 2010 and 2017 using a propensity score matching technique, resulting in an overall study cohort of 3,318 with 1,659 in the enrolled group and 1,659 in the non-enrolled group.
In terms of patient retention and activation measures, the included group showed greater adherence to diabetes-related health care metrics, including 32% higher adherence to semi-annual HbA1c tests and a 20% decrease in membership with an HbA1c> 9 were also 80% more likely to continue their medication.
In terms of occupancy and costs, enrolled members had 38% fewer hospitalizations from all causes and 34% fewer hospital days, resulting in a 21% lower medical cost trend for the enrolled versus the non-enrolled population.
“The study provides a business model for employers and health plans to drive patient engagement through the use of relevant and behavioral incentives that lead to better health outcomes, fewer hospital stays and lower costs,” he said Michael Follick, Ph.D. Abacus CEO & Co-Founder.
The study supports Abacus’ hypothesis that by using behavioral incentives to encourage engagement by patient providers, employers and health plans can reduce the gaps in care, costly health care uptake, and overall medical costs.
About Abacus Health Solutions
Founded in 1988, Abacus and its clients are nationally recognized behavioral researchers and health experts who have been providing cost-cutting solutions for three decades. The Good Health Gateway® suite of programs engages, supports, and rewards members for health behaviors based on established clinical guidelines for the management of targeted chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and others. Visit http://www.abacushealth.com for more information.
CONTACT: Jeremy Doak, Vice President Marketing
Abacus Health Solutions
SOURCE Abacus Health Solutions