During the height of the COVIID pandemic, cancer screenings and treatment of all types of cancer fell significantly. The reasons are plentiful: Many treatment centers were closed, healthcare staff were reallocated to address COVID-related needs, and many people were simply afraid to visit their doctor and imaging or treatment centers.
Thankfully, the number of cancer screenings are rebounding as the pandemic abates, but so is the likelihood of progression to greater severity of undetected and untreated cancers, worse outcomes, and much higher costs.
With this in mind, DFWBGH has launched an Employer Demonstration Project to study the impact of delayed or avoided cancer screenings and treatment on employee health and healthcare costs. The project has 4 phases:
- Employer Survey of cancer screening types, (mammograms, colorectal screenings, cervical PAPs, HPV vaccines, lung screenings) utilization, and incentives pre-pandemic (2019) and during its height (2020 & 2021).
- Engage 2 DFWBGH employers for in-depth study of cancer screening rates, cancer care costs, benefits strategies, incentives, and employee communications for 2019, 2020, & 2021 and set goals for improvements in screening rates, benefits designs, and employee education.
- Develop a Timely Cancer Care Employer Tool Kit to help other local, regional and national employers address the impact of delayed cancer screenings in a similar way and take steps to improve early detection and treatment of cancer.
- Implement Employee communications & education programs (worksite and/or virtual) about the importance and value of cancer screenings.
- The project is in full swing. Phase 1 was completed last fall. The Employer Survey results are available here
Phase 2 is gathering steam: City of Plano and Oncor Electric Delivery have agreed to participate in this Employer Demonstration Project. They are working closely with their health plans (WebTPA and BCBS-TX) and their benefits consultants (Hays Co. and AON) to collect and analyze their respective cancer screening data for 2019, 2020, and 2021. Currently, each team is assessing changes in screening rates and cancer-related costs year-over-year, and discussing the “whys” behind these changes.
The next step will be to examine each company’s current benefits programs, screening incentives, employee communications, and resources to encourage cancer screenings. The aim is to identify gaps and/or barriers that obstruct easy and affordable access to cancer screenings and early detection. Each company team will then set reasonable goals for cancer screening rates for 2022 and 2023 and determine how these goals will be achieved.
City of Plano Team
- Andrea Cockrell, Administrative Services Manager, City of Plano
- Brent Christensen, Benefits Consultant, Hays Companies
- Adam Hensen, Benefits Consultant, Hays Companies
- Kim Brown, Account Executive, WebTPA
Oncor Electric Delivery Team
- Becky Hall, Senior Manager, Health & Welfare Benefits
- Robyn Bayne, Senior Vice President, AON
- Chuck Williams, Sr. Strategic Account Executive, Enterprise National Accounts
- Melissa Griffin, Sr. Client Consultant, Client Analytics, BCBS-TX
DFWBGH Project Manager: Donita Doubet (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This project is supported by generous funding from Genentech and Exact Sciences. Pfizer also is contributing to this project with support for the Employer Toolkit, White Paper with 2 Employer Case Studies, and Project Infographic.