National Business Group on Health Launches Major Initiative to Address Cancer in the Workplace

Partners with National Comprehensive Cancer Network to Develop Comprehensive Resources for Large Employers

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of more than 300 large U.S. employers, today announced the launch of a major, multi-year initiative to help employers address a growing healthcare challenge – cancer in the workplace. The three-year project, which is being conducted in collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), will result in a series of comprehensive resources and tools for large employers, including an Employer’s Guide to Cancer Treatment and Prevention.

Cancer is a far-reaching problem in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, almost 1.5 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2009 and more than 10 million Americans have a history of cancer. Additionally, cancer is the second leading cause of long-term disability (LTD) and the sixth leading cause of short-term disability (STD) in the United States. The indirect costs of cancer to employees include an estimated $136 billion in lost productivity each year.

“Employers are becoming more and more concerned about cancer in their employees and families,” said Helen Darling, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “Clearly, it is important that employers educate their beneficiaries about preventable forms of cancer. Moreover, employers need to implement strategies to manage and support employees who are diagnosed with cancer and also provide programs and services aimed at employee caregivers. This project will go a long way toward helping employers meet this challenge.”

The ultimate goal of the three-year project is to develop an Employer’s Guide to Cancer Treatment and Prevention. This comprehensive set of tools and recommendations for the entire spectrum of employer-sponsored benefits and programs will be based on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines), which encompass clinical guidelines and recommendations based on evidence and expert judgment for every aspect of the cancer care continuum. As outlined by the Business Group, the project includes the following objectives:

  • Establish a 25-member National Advisory Committee on Employer Services for the Cancer Continuum of Care that will develop recommendations for the design, quality assurance, structure, and integration of resources, programs and services around the full range of benefits and programs to include the health plan, health and productivity programs, and health promotion/wellness services.
  • Create a quick reference Summary Document on Employer Sponsored Benefit Design, Pharmacy Benefits, and Contracting with Health Plans that will help employers determine whether their current benefits are consistent with evidence-based cancer care and will ensure access to care consistent with recommended NCCN Guidelines.
  • Develop an Employer Cancer Health Benefits Toolkit covering general medical, pharmacy, and mental health benefits for the continuum of cancer care.
  • Create a companion set of Benefit Manager Guides for other strategic audiences, such as disability managers, focused on the productivity indicators including incidental absence, short- and long-term disability, family medical leave, workers’ compensation and EAPs.
  • Develop Tools for Employees: Cancer Survivorship, Health Promotion and Wellness which will include fact sheets, information brochures and other literature on various aspects of cancer, treatment and care.

“Our increasing understanding of cancer leads to the realization that cancer is really a multitude of disease states,” said William T. McGivney, PhD, CEO of NCCN. “Further, because of innovative treatments, many cancers are becoming chronic diseases. It is critical that the purchasers and providers of care work together to assure that the services delivered along the continuum, from prevention through treatment through long term follow-up, are optimal in terms of safety, effectiveness and efficiency.”

“While there is an abundance of information about cancer, currently there is a vacuum for the delivery of treatment, prevention, and support services associated with cancer in the workplace. The deliverables of this project are intended to eliminate this vacuum by providing systematic, evidence-based approaches to care design and delivery,” Ms. Darling concluded.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a not-for-profit alliance of 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues and providing practical solutions to its members' most important health care problems. The Business Group helps drive today's health agenda while promoting ideas for controlling health care costs, improving patient safety and quality of care and sharing best practices in health benefits management with senior benefits, HR professionals, and medical directors from leading corporations. Business Group members, which include 64 Fortune 100 companies, provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit


Eagle Public Relations
Ed Emerman, 609-275-5162
[email protected]
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
Megan Martin, 215-690-0576
[email protected]

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