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Abacus Health Solutions Implements Stamford Hospital Employee Health Monitoring Program

CRANSTON, R.I. (December 13, 2011) – Cranston-based Abacus Health Solutions has team up with Stamford Hospital to launch a new blood pressure remote monitoring program for its employees and their …

CRANSTON, R.I. (December 13, 2011) – Cranston-based Abacus Health Solutions has team up with Stamford Hospital to launch a new blood pressure remote monitoring program for its employees and their families in order to detect risk factors for heart disease while helping to improve their overall health.

The initiative engages employees and their dependents through the use of feedback and cash incentives for self-monitoring of blood pressure. The program is designed to help control one of the hospital’s top medical claims expense categories. It launched to an excellent response and has gained over 100 participants in the first 30 days.

“Regular cardiovascular screening, including blood pressure screening, is important because it helps detect risk factors at the earliest stages,” says Carolyn Torella, Regional Communications Director of the American Heart Association. “These numbers can serve as a wake-up call for many patients and help get them on track with lifestyle changes or medical interventions before damage is done. Prevention is key, and knowing your numbers is the first step.”

The system enables home-based blood pressure readings to be easily collected and shared using information recorded with a home blood pressure monitoring device that is synchronized with the Microsoft® HealthVault™ Personal Health Record. Recent research has shown that regular home self-monitoring of blood pressure is critical to determining blood pressure control and as a predictor of future heart problems. The blood pressure readings are fed back to the member’s clinical team to allow optimal treatment decisions to be made and to provide additional support as needed. The system provides individually tailored feedback from the Good Health Gateway® website, a proprietary, patient self-management portal supplied by Abacus Health Solutions.

Stamford Hospital has robust wellness offerings for their employees and their dependents called the “Wellness U.” Senior leadership and the Wellness U committee are committed to providing members with the resources necessary for staying healthy including educational tools, activities, and programs that help them take charge of their health and wellness. The Wellness U offers everything from biometric screenings, vaccinations, prevention, fitness, Nutrition/Weight Management, and financial planning solutions.

New personalized medical technologies are changing the way people care for themselves and the way in which medical care is delivered. The Abacus eBlood Pressure Program was built in part with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The eBlood Pressure Program not only addresses the need to control chronic conditions within the Stamford Hospital employee health plan, but also highlights the use of technology to improve health outcomes in the medical setting. Stamford Hospital will soon be changing the way care is delivered in the community as this new system will be offered through the hospital’s network of doctors and local employer health plans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. have hypertension (high blood pressure). Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to strokes, coronary artery disease, chronic kidney failure, and heart failure. Hypertension is largely cared for by primary care physicians, and despite multiple national campaigns in the United States, estimates suggest that 25 percent of hypertensive patients are unaware of their diagnosis, and only 35 percent of hypertensive patients were adequately controlled. By improving blood pressure control, this e-health enabled model of patient-centered care can significantly reduce the subsequent morbidity, mortality, and costs associated with uncontrolled hypertension, i.e., emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

About Stamford Hospital:

Stamford Hospital is a 305-bed, not-for-profit provider of comprehensive healthcare services in lower Fairfield County and the region. Stamford Hospital is affiliated with New York Presbyterian Health System and is a major teaching affiliate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. It is a proud member of the Planetree Alliance, a group of hospitals nationwide focused on patient-centered care. Areas of expertise include: cancer care, heart services, orthopedics, and women's health. Visit http://www.stamfordhospital.org/ for more information.

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 over two decades. Abacus provides employers, benefits brokers, and hospitals with an array of unique programs and services to address chronic condition management, specializing in integrating behavioral science principles into evidence-based programs, benefit plans, and providing incentive program design and administration. Visit

http://www.abacushealth.com for more information.

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