The City of Lynn improves the health of their Employees and reduces costs for the City
During a period when most municipalities are shifting healthcare costs onto employees, the City of Lynn has reduced out-of-pocket costs for members and realized significant budget savings by using Abacus’ behavior-based approach to support members with chronic conditions since 2011.
Chronic conditions, like diabetes, drive up healthcare costs. The American Diabetes Association reports that people with diagnosed diabetes account for 1 in 4 healthcare dollars in the U.S.
Mayor Thomas M. McGee states, “City employees and family members living with diabetes receive a tremendous benefit through Abacus’ Diabetes Care Rewards Program. The program provides a confidential support service that helps members with diabetes more effectively manage their condition. The results are better health and lower costs for both participants and our municipality.”
“There are well established guidelines for diabetes care, but we know ongoing engagement in preventative care is a big issue today,” said Ed Aberger, Ph.D., EVP of Abacus. “Members who are active in managing their condition with care provided by their own primary care doctors are much less likely to have adverse events and be hospitalized. By engaging members with their own doctors, we are also able to address both complications and comorbidities (other illnesses a patient has in addition to diabetes) as part of comprehensive patient-centered care.”
Kate Sharry, the Benefits Consultant for the City with Arthur J. Gallagher & Company who recommended the Abacus Program, notes, “The cost of necessary diabetes maintenance medications, like insulin, creates a barrier to adherence. The program promotes adherence to diabetes medications and supplies by removing the copayments for those members who are active in the program. Members provide very positive feedback about the additional education, guidance, communications and incentives offered through the program.”
Over the seven years the program has been in place, Abacus has successfully engaged over 30% of the members with diabetes, doubling national averages for participation in a disease management program. Program participants have had significant improvements in their Hemoglobin A1c, a key clinical measure for diabetes that demonstrates blood sugar control. In addition to supporting the members on their diabetes journey, the program was able to take diabetes from being a top cost driver for the City and reduce the medical claims trend well below the overall trend for the City. This saved the City millions of dollars in avoided healthcare costs.
About the City of Lynn Massachusetts First incorporated in 1629, located north of Boston, Lynn is the 9th largest City in Massachusetts. Home to 90,000 people with a municipal health plan with 10,000 covered lives.
About Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG), a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, is headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. The company has operations in 35 countries and offers client service capabilities in more than 150 countries around the world through a network of correspondent brokers and consultants.
About Abacus Health Solutions Abacus Health Solutions (Abacus) and its principals are nationally recognized behavioral scientists and health experts who have been providing cost-containment solutions for three decades. The Abacus suite of Programs engages, supports and rewards members for health behaviors based upon established clinical guidelines for managing targeted chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and others. Visit www.abacushealth.com for more information.