Category Archives: Research

New Research: When Integrated Data Meets HR Solutions

New Research: When Integrated Data Meets HR Solutions


Leveraging data has surpassed the scope it once covered, with emerging technology in our work, businesses, homes, and beyond. At HCMS Group, we believe in mastering the art of integrated analytics to show how data can be used to improve health and cost outcomes for both employers and employees for a healthier, more productive workforce. But is there any evidence to back this up? Since we’re a data company at heart, of course the answer is yes.

In a recent study shared with the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC), our team broke down the modern workplace and how organizational systems and processes can improve a business.

Here is some of what we found:

  • The majority of a business’s claim spending comes from the top 5 percent of cases when absenteeism, disability, and workers’ compensation are involved.
  • Our clinical prevention model helps identify individuals who will become high risk and high cost to a business.By using HCMS and its systems, users were demonstrably more likely to feel empowered, take charge of their health, and improve the quality of their lives.

Read the full article in @Work Magazine’s Technology and Integration edition.

HCMS and WorkPartners brings together the power of integrated health and productivity solutions, advanced health analytics, and individualized clinical prevention services to further complement and strengthen WorkPartners’ current service offerings.

Foster Teen Research Series – Part 1

Foster Teen Research Series – Part 1


Foster Teen Research Blog Series

Why Are 18-Year-Olds in Foster Care 20 Times More Likely to Have a Child?

Research by HCMS and the Wyoming Department of Family Services shows sharply higher teen pregnancy rates among foster children than previously estimated.

In the year they turn 18, girls in foster care are 20 times more likely to have a child than teens living with their families.

Recently published, peer-reviewed research by HCMS Group and the Wyoming Department of Family Services explores the dimensions of the problem and identifies a surprising new correlation that may help explain it. The study will appear soon in Child Welfare, the research journal of the Child Welfare League of America.

HCMS first looked into this issue three years ago and found that teen pregnancy rates were significantly higher for girls in foster care than previous research suggested. Our initial analysis didn’t identify causes, though other experts have cited unstable living situations, adolescence, and exposure to sexual abuse.

Working with the state DFS, our data analysts Justin Schaneman and Pamela Pendleton subsequently designed a more rigorous study following 5,326 Wyoming girls from the time they were 15 until they turned 19. The analysis, covering more than 11 years, compared foster teens with two groups of girls living at home. One group’s healthcare was covered by Medicaid – as was that of the foster-care group – and a second group had private health insurance.

Here’s what the data showed year by year:

Why were the differences so stark, especially between the foster teens and girls with private health insurance? Based on published research, we suspected a correlation between the pregnancy rates and substantially higher prescribing rates of narcotic, psychotropic, and other drugs for foster children.

We’ll have more on what we discovered in our next post. But here’s a hint: Our research showed that foster teens were four to six times as likely to have a mental health diagnosis as girls living at home and covered by private medical insurance.

Foster-Teen Pregnancies Are 5 Times the Rate for Other Girls

Foster-Teen Pregnancies Are 5 Times the Rate for Other Girls


Teen pregnancy rates among foster children may be higher than previously thought.

More than one in five teenage girls in foster care had a pregnancy in a study of Wyoming children ages 14-18, according to HCMS Group. The girls’ pregnancy rate was almost five times the rate for teenagers covered by the Wyoming health plan for state employees, and 11 times the rate for girls covered by private medical insurance in the state.

National data on pregnancies don’t break out foster teens. One often-cited study found that girls in foster care in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin were 2.5 times as likely to become pregnant as those not in foster care. Among all girls ages 15-19, the pregnancy rate in 2010 was 5.7%, the authoritative Guttmacher Institute in New York reported this year. In Wyoming, the rate was 5% among girls covered by the state health plan, 2% for those under private insurance and 22% for foster teens.

The analysis of teen pregnancy rates in Wyoming may be the first based on statewide data. The study covered more than 7,500 girls between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2013. HCMS Group maintains a research reference database that includes Wyoming records from private medical plans, the state-employee program and Medicaid, which covers children in foster care. Wyoming is the least populous state with 583,000 people.

Among child welfare professionals, there’s little mystery to why pregnancy rates are much higher for foster children. Those who have studied the matter cite the combination of unstable living situations, adolescence, and exposure to sexual abuse. There is also a lack of training for foster parents in teaching girls about self-protection and self-esteem. Some of the pregnancies are accidental, and in other cases girls set out to fill a void in their lives by creating a family of their own, studies have shown.

Wyoming Teen Pregnancy Rates

As the Wyoming girls reached the ages of 16-18, the rates jumped to between 25% and 29%, according to HCMS. For girls 16-18 who were covered by the state health plan, the rates were 6% to 7%, while those with private benefit programs had rates of 3% to 4%.

“Many people forget this is not the immaculate conception,” said Eileen Mayers  Pasztor, professor, School of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach, who has long studied and worked in the child welfare field. “There always is a father, and where is the training for young men regarding self-esteem and responsibility and fatherhood? There also is the issue of social justice when teenage girls become pregnant and their babies’ fathers are over 18 years of age; isn’t sex with a minor rape?”


— Robert L. Simison, HCMS Communications

On behalf of HCMS Data Analytics






HCMS Human Capital Risk Index® (HUI) Outperforms Competitor


HCMS Group recently had the opportunity to compare its integrated risk score, the Human Capital Risk Index® (HUI), against a traditional risk score that only includes health plan data. The HUI’s use of a broader set of integrated lost time metrics (including disability data) produced a prediction of high cost and risk that averaged out to be nearly twice as strong when compared to the competitor risk score.

The full study includes background information, tables, graphics, and detailed findings. Click here to read the full study.

Figure 1: Employee HUI and Competitor Risk Score Comparison

* The metric displayed is the coefficient of determination (or R2) as measured from the linear relationship between HUI (or the Competitor Risk Score) and total cost.
** The metric displayed is a pseudo R2 as measured from the logistic relationship between HUI (or the Competitor Risk Score) and the likelihood of being high cost.
R2 is a statistical measure used to access the predictive power of a given model with a range of 0-1; the higher the number, the more powerful and accurate the prediction.


HCMS Group’s Human Capital Risk Index® Background Information

The HUI is more comprehensive than other risk measurements due to the scope of integrated data (health, disability, workers’ compensation) and is closely correlated with health benefit costs. The HUI also uses three distinct algorithms to calculate risk—one for employees, one for adult dependents, and one for child dependents. This customization to the specific population group also contributes to a higher level of predictive power.

The HUI is weighted by the following elements:

  •   Clinical diagnostics and patterns of utilization captured in medical claims
  •   Pharmacy classes and patterns of utilization captured in pharmacy claims
  •   Short-term and long-term disability claims information
  •   Workers’ compensation claims information


Have any questions about this study? Leave a comment and an HCMS Data Analyst will reply.