Oncology Learning Collaborative Partnership

Thank You To Our Sponsors:

Cancer has become more complex and challenging over the past few years. There are many factors that have made it even more difficult for employers to remain knowledgeable and ensure healthcare benefits are sufficiently comprehensive to meet the needs of covered members. While employers often tend to rely on their medical carriers and pharmacy benefits managers to assure their plans provide state-of-the-art coverage, they owe it to their employees and families to do their part to reduce barriers to care. This guide is intended to provide information on key strategies that employers can adopt in partnership with their vendors to better manage oncology care and costs.

Cancer is employers’ biggest treatment cost, and a new report predicts annual cancer spending to spike to an additional 30% in three years. Oncology Learning Collaborative (OLC) participants from the Florida Alliance for Healthcare Value (Florida Alliance) and the Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) confirm that cancer is a top driver of employer healthcare costs.

Many factors impact cost increases. For example, cancer is increasingly prevalent; preventive care and screenings are below optimal levels; and breakthroughs in specialty drugs and personalized medicine are costly.

This guide is based on an Oncology Learning Collaborative undertaken with the Florida Alliance for Healthcare Value and Midwest Business Group on Health employer members and the important work done by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and the National Cancer Treatment Alliance (NCTA). Staff and Employer Members of the Florida Alliance and MBGH were active participants in the development of the toolkits and checklists that these organizations developed for employers to better manage their cancer population. A review of these resources was done with both coalitions and their Employer Members during the collaborative and in other settings.

During the OLC, the Employer Members shared the approaches they are taking to optimize cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as how they are supporting care navigation, paying for care, and helping affected employees return to work. A goal of participating Employer Members was to extend life while improving quality of life, improve productivity, and better manage costs. This toolkit includes many of their insights, strategies, and best practices.

This guide is a “living” document and will be updated regularly with new information. Please bookmark this microsite and check back frequently. Also, please contact Karen van Caulil at karen@flhealthvalue.org if you have information to add to the guide. We know there is a lot of activity in the employer space around managing cancer and we want to be able to stay on top of all advances that drive value in oncology for employers and their plan members.

Many thanks to the employers who worked with MBGH and the Florida Alliance to develop this guide and were so generous of their time. We know you will find their insights to be valuable and have noted them with this lightbulb imagethroughout the guide..

MBGH Employer Advisors

  • Dan Dentzer, Manager, Health and Welfare Strategy, United Airlines
  • Carole Mendoza, VP of Benefits, Voya Financial
  • Sherri Samuels-Fuerst, VP, Total Rewards, Sargento Foods

Florida Alliance Employer Advisors

  • Kenneth Aldridge, Director of Health Services, Rosen Hotels and Resorts
  • Lea Ann Biafora, CEO/Founder of Professional Cancer Care Experience Advisors, Beacon Advocates
  • Ray L. Bowman, PhD, Retired Senior Vice President, Talent, and Team Development, MarineMax
  • Jane Lutz, Senior Employer Account Executive, Genentech on behalf of Cody Adams, Benefits Manager
  • Susan McBroom, Director of Human Resources, Patriot Rail Company
  • Rosa Novo, Administrative Benefits Director, Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Thanks also to the MBGH and Florida Alliance team members who provided support through the OLC and in development of this guide. 

  • John Butler, Project Management Consultant (MBGH)
  • Lisa Hain, Administrative Coordination (Florida Alliance)
  • Jack Mahoney, MD, MPH, Medical Director, (Florida Alliance)
  • Sandra Morris, Principal, About Quality Benefits Design, LLC (MBGH)
  • Ashley Tait-Dinger, Vice President (Florida Alliance)

Best regards,

Project leads
Cheryl Larson
President and CEO, Midwest Business Group on Health

Karen van Caulil, PhD
President and CEO, Florida Alliance for Healthcare Value