Employers encouraged to look into cancer care when building their benefits package

Report reveals 15% of spend goes to cancer care

Employers encouraged to look into cancer care when building their benefits package

Employers are encouraged to consider reviewing healthcare for cancer as it may continue to drive costs, with 15% of spend being accounted for.

A report has revealed cancer cases have increased at an alarming rate. AccessHope has emphasized the importance of preparing for such cases, noting there are now treatments that could improve survival rates, as reported by BenefitsPRO.com.

There are cases where patients have experienced overutilization, underutilization, or misutilization of care. Targeted treatments could help patients go through their journey to recovery in a manner that is more effective and less costly.

Kathleen Frey, VP of client excellence at AccessHope, accentuates “knowledge is power” as she lays down three things that employers must know about cancer as they outline their benefits package:

1. “Medical knowledge expands faster than oncologists can keep up.”

There are about 100 types of cancers, and each may require a more specific treatment. The advancement of technology as well as the changes in the best practices are continuous, and there can be a limit to what oncologists would know.

Leading academic centers are a vital resource of subspecialists. Some health systems and cancer centers offer remote second opinions. At the same time, there are innovative solutions that provide remote expert case reviews.


2. National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers “improve cancer outcomes and bridge expertise gaps.”

A study in the Annals of Surgical Oncology found a review at an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center can lead to a change in diagnosis for 43% of patients. More often, omitting the access to cancer subspecialists can drive costs higher with potentially suboptimal health outcomes.

NCI specialists are more than able to help patients receive the most effective care.


3. “Expert case reviews can identify more effective treatment options.”

A misdiagnosis could lead to costs that could have been saved if patients only had access to the right expertise and care, and employers tend to incur higher costs as a result. A second review could make a significant impact on the course of treatment.

Building the right cancer benefit package starts with knowledge,” said Frey. “One-size-fits-all solutions don’t work for cancer like they do for other chronic conditions—and benefit packages need to reflect that.”

She notes employers must investigate solutions and collaborate with community and academic medicine to be equipped with the necessary information on cancer care as this will help employees receive the latest insights and expertise.

“Providing employees with access to high-quality oncology expertise and comprehensive support that overcomes geographic barriers will ensure optimal health outcomes, which is ultimately every employer’s goal."