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COA Payer Exchange Summit 2016

Dr Marianne Fazen on Why Cancer Is a Major Concern for Employers

Employers face tough decisions about rising costs, high-quality care, coordination of benefits, and workplace accommodations when employees are diagnosed with cancer, but they will always want to support those employees as best they can, according to Marianne Fazen, PhD, president and CEO of the Texas Business Group on Health.


Employers face tough decisions about rising costs, high-quality care, coordination of benefits, and workplace accommodations when employees are diagnosed with cancer, but they will always want to support those employees as best they can, according to Marianne Fazen, PhD, president and CEO of the Texas Business Group on Health.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What decisions do employers face when their employees are diagnosed with cancer?

Well, cancer is one of the top conditions that’s a major concern for employers, and one of the main reasons is because of the cost of cancer care. It’s far exceeding, increasing at twice the pace of regular general health care, so it gets their attention quite a bit. And when an employee comes to the employer and says, "Whoops, I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer," whatever type it might be, they’re bringing to the employer a $200,000 treatment problem, but then a host of other problems and challenges that the employer would be facing.

Cost isn’t the only thing; employers are very concerned about the quality of care, that the employee gets the proper care at the right place, at the right time. And then the second challenge is all the coordination of benefits and all the resources that are available, and the programs from the time of diagnosis through treatment.

And then the big issue is, most employees with cancer are able to return to work, now with our wonderful new treatments, and survival rates, it’s become more of a chronic condition that’s manageable from the clinical side. But from the employer’s side it’s a huge challenge because of the issues that the workplace accommodations that need to be put in place for someone who’s been diagnosed with cancer and maybe going through treatment, can’t do heavy lifting, or may not be able to be at work all the time, may need some flexible time or time off. So that becomes a big, big deal for supporting the employee, and they want to, because they’re productive, important, valuable resources. 

 
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