The Business Group on Health Survey is an annual survey that sheds light on the strategic initiatives undertaken by employers in addressing crucial health concerns. Within the realm of oncology, this year’s recently published survey offers a panoramic view of how employers perceive and prioritize cancer care within their benefit offerings.
As we delve into the depths of this year’s analysis, we’ll unravel two pivotal cancer trends that are shaping the trajectory of employee well-being and healthcare strategy. By providing a high-level understanding of this year’s survey, we’ll explore how employers are reacting to increasing cancer support needs and examine the dynamic shifts in their perspectives on the integration of virtual health.
Cancer Trend #1: Embracing Cancer Support Benefits
Understanding Cancer’s Impact: Insights from the Business Group of Health Survey
The recent Business Group of Health (BGH) survey offers enlightening insights into employers’ perspectives. First and foremost, the survey results demonstrate how cancer spending is a leading driver of healthcare expenditures. Remarkably, half of all employers recognize cancer as the number one driver of healthcare costs, and 86% of employers say it’s among their top three conditions driving costs. These findings highlight the pressing need for effective strategies to manage these costs.
Navigating Late-Stage Cancers
Next, although we’re now three years removed from the start of the Covid pandemic, the survey indicates that there are still repercussions due to the Covid crisis. Specifically, 41% of employers are anticipating more late-stage cancers in their population due to the disruptions and delays in screenings during the Covid pandemic. This prompts the need for proactive measures to address this concern.
Forging the Path Ahead
Despite the high costs associated with cancer, the survey also illuminates promising strategies on the horizon. A substantial 53% of employers are set to introduce a cancer-focused center of excellence (COE) approach by 2024, with an additional 23% of employers actively considering this approach. A COE framework recognizes the multi-faceted impact of cancer and offers patients a personalized, multidisciplinary approach to their care (such as seeing more than just one doctor). These statistics signal a growing momentum toward specialized cancer care strategies.
Along the same lines, the survey underscores a collective commitment to health equity, with an impressive 95% of employers planning to implement at least one strategy to address health inequities by 20244. This collective effort reflects a determination to foster a more inclusive and equitable healthcare landscape.
Cancer Trend #2: Shifting Employer Perspectives on Virtual Health
Continuing our exploration of the Business Group of Health survey, we delve into the second significant trend that’s shaping employer perspectives: the evolving impact of virtual health on cancer care. Employers are now taking a closer look at how virtual health and community-based care intersect.
Two Sides of the Coin: Remote vs. Community-Based Cancer Care
When it comes to cancer care, both remote and community-based approaches offer unique advantages. Community-based care provides hands-on, in-person attention, yet the challenge lies in ensuring access to qualified medical professionals. Though cancer research is continuing to develop and improve, the reality is that care experiences vary greatly based on a patient’s geography and access to specialized care.
A patient has a much higher survival rate when they’re closer to and receiving treatment from professionals at one of the country’s 53 NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Yet, not everyone has access to one of these centers.
This is where remote expert case reviews shine. This clinical decision support empowers patients and their treating oncologists with personalized treatment recommendations from NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers’ expertise, enhancing the effectiveness of their existing treatment plans.
Furthermore, the importance of remote expertise becomes even more apparent when considering the financial burden of cancer-related expenses. By utilizing remote expert support services, patients can potentially minimize avoidable costs and reduce the overall burden of healthcare expenses for both themselves and their employers.
Implications of Coordinating Care
As the landscape of healthcare evolves, the synergy between remote and community-based care signifies a patient-centric approach that recognizes the diverse needs of individuals with cancer and can vary depending on diagnosis, treatment plan, and personal circumstances. Yet, it’s not quite that simple. Roughly 70% of employers expressed concern about the lack of coordination between virtual and community-based in-person care1.
Along the same lines, 64% of employers acknowledge the potential for virtual health to make a significant impact on the delivery of care. This is down from 85% in 20212, reflecting a nuanced understanding of the role that virtual health plays in shaping the future of patient care.
Pioneering Oncology Advancements
As the healthcare landscape continues to shift towards a patient-centric approach that bridges the gap between remote and community-based care, the Business Group on Health survey shows that employers remain vigilant about advancements in oncology.
Notably, they are closely monitoring innovations such as biomarker testing and immunotherapies. With a focused commitment, employers aim to guide their members toward accessing high-quality care in hopes of improving health outcomes.
AccessHope: Transforming Cancer Expertise Delivery for a Brighter Future
As we’ve explored the dynamic shifts in perspectives, from prioritizing spending management of cancer care to acknowledging the potential of virtual health, AccessHope emerges as a positive, effective solution.
AccessHope offers a comprehensive solution that embodies patient-centric values. Through the transformative cancer support benefit, employees and their local doctors gain access to expertise from a multidisciplinary network of specialists who advise on optimal treatment plans for the best-possible clinical outcomes. All the while, the member can stay at home under the continuous care of their local care team.
To complement our remote services, AccessHope’s Onsite Expert Consultation benefit provides members with a comprehensive evaluation of their cancer during an in-person visit at an NCI-Designated Cancer Center with a premier oncologist supported by cancer experts.
This seamless connection between members and expertise from renowned cancer experts transcends geographical barriers and ensures that every individual, irrespective of their location, receives the highest caliber of care and expertise.
This holistic approach, where local care teams can consult with distinguished specialists, aims to minimize avoidable expenses and wasteful spending on unnecessary tests and treatments. Because of this comprehensive benefit, AccessHope works toward alleviating an employee’s physical, emotional, and financial burdens, resulting in improved health outcomes and a more optimistic journey for members.
Amidst evolving healthcare landscapes, the Business Group on Health Survey indicates a brighter future for both employees and organizations. As trends shift from managing cancer care expenditures to integrating virtual health, AccessHope redefines the journey toward recovery, championing a future that values well-being above all.
1. Business Group on Health. 2024 Large Employer Health Care Strategy Survey. August 2023. Available at: https://www.businessgrouphealth.org/resources/. Accessed August 24, 2023.