ANN ARBOR — Diabetes treatment is more effective when paired with both value-based benefit design and disease management programs, according to a joint study from Truven Health Analytics and the Florida Health Care Coalition.

The paper, Value-Based Design and Prescription Drug Utilization Patterns Among Diabetes Patients, which appears in the May-June issue of The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, examined the three-year effect of value-based design and disease management programs on diabetes patients.

Value-based insurance design is a medical benefit plan design that aligns patient cost-sharing with the clinical value of health services, providing lower out-of-pocket costs for proven, high value services and higher out-of-pocket prices for lower value services.

The study evaluated medication adherence and usage based on possession ratios and usage rates and found that patients enrolled in value-based benefit design in conjunction with a disease management program showed higher adherence to both brand and generic oral medications and a higher uptake of insulin over the course of the three-year study period.

“These results suggest that by reducing patient cost-sharing for antidiabetic medications, employers are able to increase utilization rates among employees with chronic disease,” said Teresa Gibson, vice president, health outcomes at Truven Health Analytics and lead author of the study. “Though most studies of this type have examined the effects of medication use in aggregate, the design of the value-based program we examined allowed us to determine whether effects were consistent across brand and generic medications.”

The study analyzed 1,876 diabetes patients that were enrolled in a value-based program and a disease management program. It compared them to two identically sized groups: diabetes patients with only a disease management program, and those with neither a value-based or disease management program.

“Value-based benefit designs were founded on the simple premise that by reducing patient out-of-pocket costs for treatments that are known to be effective, it becomes less burdensome for patients to manage their health,” said John “Jack” Mahoney, M.D., Florida Health Care Coalition chief medical officer. “This research moves that theory forward, allowing the hundreds of companies currently implementing value-based designs to tailor their programs to produce the highest-quality health care at the lowest cost.”

The Truven Health Advantage Suite and the Truven Health MarketScan Research Databases, which contain de-identified healthcare claims data reflecting the real-world medical care of over 180 million unique patients across the U.S. since 1995, were used to conduct the analysis. Funding for the research was provided by Merck.

To read the complete study in The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, click here.

Truven delivers unbiased information, analytic tools, benchmarks and services to hospitals, government agencies, employers, health plans, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies. Truven employs about 2,000 people worldwide and has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, Chicago and Denver. For more information, please visit


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