Northeast Business Group on Health Releases Employer Guide to Cancer Survivorship

December 2, 2020

Guide identifies action steps for employers to address in six major categories

NEW YORK, December 2, 2020 – Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) has released “Cancer Survivorship: Challenges and Opportunities for Employers,” a new guide to help HR and benefits leaders fully understand the complex issues associated with cancer survivorship and to create a workplace that supports people living with cancer and is productive for everyone.

Cancer is a relatively common dis­ease in the U.S. Nearly four in ten men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime, according to some estimates. Cancer is also on the rise among millennials, who make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. At the same time, the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. is increasing steadily. It is estimated that by 2040, the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. will reach 26.1 million, a more than 50% increase compared with 2019. 

“With a growing number of cancer survivors in the workforce, employers need to better understand and be equipped to help support them, given the challenges these employees may face,” said Candice Sherman, CEO of NEBGH.  “Some people are unable to work due to treatment or the effects of treatment, but many are able to continue to work or to return to work after some period. In fact, most cancer survivors are eager to   work   because it provides a coping mechanism, enables a sense of purpose and motivation, boosts self-confidence, fosters social support and aids in financial stability.” 

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Northeast Business Group on Health Releases Employer Guide to Evaluate Weight Management Programs Amid COVID-19

September 23, 2020

Guide includes five-step action plan for employers

NEW YORK, September 23, 2020 – Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) has released “Workplace Weight Management in the New Normal,” a new guide to help HR and benefits leaders address overweight and obesity issues facing millions of employees. The release of the guide comes at a time when COVID-19 is disrupting many traditional onsite workplace weight management and wellness programs

Obesity is common and rising in prevalence. According to some estimates, nearly half of all U.S. adults are projected to be classified as obese by 2030. Studies show obesity is also costly to employers. Taking into account direct medical costs and indirect productivity costs including lost productivity, absenteeism, disability and workers’ compensation, obesity costs U.S. employers over $73 billion annually. 

“Overweight and obesity are complex issues. There is no one, simple solution. COVID-19 has disrupted many workplace weight management and wellness programs, but as we grapple with a new normal now and for the foreseeable future, there are many opportunities to revamp and refresh programs and policies that help employees deal with weight-related issues,” said NEBGH CEO Candice Sherman. “Obesity has been identified as a significant risk factor for serious COVID-19 complications as well as for other conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Employers have an especially important role to play since their employees’ health and well-being – and that of their organization — are at stake,” said Sherman.

The guide, Workplace Weight Management in the New Normal, provides employers with a five-step action plan for reviewing and updating their programs. The action plan includes detailed information on how employers can: gain a better understanding of weight management challenges; assess what is and isn’t working with their programs; refresh management strategies and tactics; boost the likelihood of their program’s success, and evaluate outcomes.  

Given the millions of employees working from home during the pandemic, an integral component of the guide is a list of over three dozen both on-site and work-from-home “environmental interventions” focused on healthy eating and physical activity.  These include:

Work-from-home Interventions

  • Provide employees with resources specific to eating healthy while working from home
  • Offer virtual healthy cooking demonstrations
  • Promote access to healthy meal and delivery services; consider subsidized subscriptions
  • Utilize digital tools that promote physical activity
  • Offer live or taped virtual fitness classes
  • Coordinate employee-side step challenges
  • Offer mobile apps for managing stress

On-site Interventions

  • Increase availability of healthy foods and beverages in cafeterias and vending machines
  • Encourage selection of healthier food and beverages through reduced, subsidized or free pricing in cafeterias and vending machines
  • Offer only healthier options at meetings or when catering events
  • Provide onsite exercise options such as gyms, fitness classes or walking trails
  • Offer onsite destressing spaces for meditation, resting and games.The 36-page guide includes examples of digital weight management tools that are available to employers as well as a list of weight management resources for employees. Additionally, the guide features case studies of four major employers’ successful weight management programs that relied on incentives, digital tools, and virtual and onsite meetings to promote healthy weight behaviors among their employees.  

The guide is available free of charge to all employers and the public at large, and can be accessed here.

About Northeast Business Group on Health
NEBGH is an employer-led, multi-stakeholder coalition that empowers members to drive excellence in health and achieve the highest value in healthcare delivery and the consumer experience. NEBGH employer/purchaser members cover 6 million lives in the U.S. and 10 million globally.

 

Media Contact:
Candice Sherman

212-252-7440 X 234

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Northeast Business Group on Health and PsyberGuide Release Employer Guide to Mental Health Digital Tools and Solutions

May 12, 2020

NEW YORK, May 12 , 2020 — With demand for mental health services reaching unprecedented levels amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) and One Mind PsyberGuide today released “Digital Tools and Solutions for Mental Health,” a comprehensive employer guide that provides HR and benefits leaders with the information they need to assess and select digital mental health solutions for their employees

The global burden of mental health conditions is catastrophic and growing rapidly, and more so amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health conditions affect over a third of the world’s population with two — depression and anxiety — alone resulting in an estimated $1 trillion in lost economic productivity. For employers, the impact of mental health conditions on their organizations is substantial and ripples beyond the cost of care to include lost productivity, absenteeism and presenteeism.

“Digital technologies have the potential to revolutionize treatment for mental health conditions,” said Dr. Mark Cunningham-Hill, Medical Director at NEBGH.  “These solutions can provide valuable new services that make mental health support more accessible and reduce barriers due to stigma. However, with the number of solutions and tools in the marketplace growing endlessly, selecting the best technology has become increasingly complex. We developed this resource guide to arm employers with the information they need to make the right decision for their organization and employees. With the country now in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, the value of these tools that provide virtual solutions has increased exponentially.”

The guide, “Digital Tools and Solutions for Mental Health,” discusses in great detail the barriers that exist for accessing care for mental health conditions including cost and stigma. The guide lays out a strong business case on why employers should invest in and provide comprehensive mental health benefits to their employees, noting that mental health conditions is a leading cause of lost work days and that the return on investment is between $2 and $4 for every dollar spent on mental health.

One of the main components of the guide is a list of two dozen notable mental health digital solutions and their key features, including what conditions each tool targets (e.g. stress, depression, anxiety) and the types of intervention it offers (e.g. coaching, mindfulness meditation, clinical therapy). The resource includes a fact sheet on each solution as well as a summary of consumer facing mental health apps that employers may want to consider directing their employees toward.  In addition, the guide features case studies of four major employers that have been experimenting with digital mental health solutions to help support employees address issues ranging from stress and sleep to overall wellbeing.

The guide also features a checklist of key considerations for employers when evaluating and selecting a digital mental health solution. These include but are not limited to:

  • Who is the target population for the solution?  Some employers may just include employees while others will want to target family members including adults and children.
  • What are employers looking to achieve?  Raising awareness and providing education on mental health, reducing stress, and enhancing overall wellbeing, happiness and productivity are just a few goals employers may want to achieve with a digital mental health solution.
  • How will employers effectively engage employees?  Employer will need to consider whether the digital solution will complement existing mental health resources and how will they communicate and market the solutions to employees and family members.

“Employers are faced with a multitude of options when considering digital solutions for mental health” said Stephen Schueller, Executive Director of PsyberGuide and Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at the University of California, Irvine. “This often leads to pitch fatigue; employers are approached by various companies, and may not know what else is out there and what might be able to meet their needs. Our guide can help empower employers to select from these options and make an informed decision for their workplace."

Funding for the guide was provided by the Bowman Family Foundation, Aetna and Johnson & Johnson.  The guide is free for employers and the public, and can be accessed here.


About Northeast Business Group on Health
NEBGH is an employer-led, multi-stakeholder coalition that empowers members to drive excellence in health and achieve the highest value in healthcare delivery and the consumer experience.  NEBGH’s employer/purchaser members cover 6 million lives in the U.S. and 10 million globally.

About One Mind PsyberGuide
One Mind PsyberGuide is a non-profit whose goal is to help people use technology to live a mentally healthier life. Established in 2013 in response to a growing need for guidelines to help people navigate the mental health app marketplace, One Mind PsyberGuide’s aim is to help people make responsible and informed decisions about digital solutions for mental health by providing unbiased reviews. One Mind PsyberGuide operates at the University of California, Irvine, School of Social Ecology.

 

Media Contacts:
Candice Sherman
NEBGH
212.252.7440 ext. 234
csherman@nebgh.org

Andrea Helling
Rubenstein (For PsyberGuide)
ahelling@rubenstein.com

212.843.8025 (Desk)
406.369.0349 (Cell)

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Northeast Business Group on Health Receives $150K Behavioral Health Grant from New York Community Trust

April 27, 2020

For Immediate Release

Two-year grant earmarked to help improve access to mental health and substance abuse care for New York City, Long Island and Westchester County residents

NEW YORK, April 27, 2020 – Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) announced today it has received a $150,000, two-year grant from the New York Community Trust to help improve behavioral health care access for individuals in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County with employer-sponsored health insurance. 

The grant is earmarked for the first two years of NEBGH’s participation in The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use, a five-year nationwide initiative led by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Association Foundation Center for Workplace Mental Health and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. NEBGH will lead one of eight Regional Employer Stakeholder Engagement Teams to leverage the influence of their employer and other health care purchaser members to work with health plans, medical and behavioral health groups, consultants and brokers to combat this public health crisis.

“We are so grateful to receive this funding from the New York Community Trust, which will help enable our organization to fulfill our participation in this very important initiative to improve care for mental health and substance abuse disorders,” said Candice Sherman, CEO of NEBGH.  “Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, the need for improved access to behavioral health services is at an all-time high and the emotional fallout from this crisis will be significant.  Employers, working in collaboration with health plans, providers and other stakeholders, can play a significant role in improving the access to high-quality, high-value behavioral health care and bringing care for mental health and substance abuse to the same level of care afforded to physical medical care.”

During the first two years of the project, NEBGH will gather data, engage its employer members and develop a work plan to meet the Path Forward’s goal.  Specifically, NEBGH will create a 16-member oversight group, develop a five-year operational plan, survey members to identify behavioral health access and payment challenges, collect actuarial studies and other publicly-available data on cost and provide availability, provide data and policy materials to support employers in health plan negotiations and conduct quarterly workshops to educate members on coverage disparities for behavioral health care.

“Despite longstanding parity laws mandating that Americans have the same access to behavioral health care as they do to physical health care, finding in-network mental health and substance abuse services is too difficult for millions with employer-purchased and self-insurance health coverage,” says Irfan Hasan, The Trust’s Program Director for Healthy Lives. “We’re funding Northeast Business Group on Health to work with coalitions across the country to fix this problem. While we planned to fund this project before New York became the U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of better access to affordable behavioral health services has never been more critical.”

Launched in late 2019, the Path Forward is a five-year plan to execute a disciplined, private sector approach to improve mental health and substance use care for Americans across the nation. Learn more about The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use here.

About Northeast Business Group on Health

NEBGH is an employer-led, multi-stakeholder coalition that empowers members to drive excellence in health and achieve the highest value in healthcare delivery and the consumer experience.  NEBGH’s employer/purchaser members cover 6 million lives in the U.S. and 10 million globally.

About The New York Community Trust

The New York Community Trust connects past, present, and future generous New Yorkers with vital nonprofits working to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community for all. We are a public grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. For more information, visit us at nycommunitytrust.org.

 

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Media Contact:
Candice Sherman

212-252-7440 X 234
csherman@nebgh.org

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Caregiving Benefits Gaining More Attention from U.S. Employers, Northeast Business Group on Health Survey Finds

April 16, 2020

For Immediate Release

NEW YORK, April 16, 2020 — Amid an ever-increasing rise in the number of employees shouldering caregiving responsibilities, U.S. employers were already making caregiving benefits one of their top priorities even before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey by Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH). The survey of 117 mostly large, U.S. employers found more than three quarter of respondents (79%) said caregiving will be an increasingly important issue over the next five years.  The survey was conducted in late 2019 and early 2020.

Roughly one in six U.S. employees provides care for an ill or elderly family member. And more than a quarter of these employee-caregivers are millennials, many of whom may also have childcare responsibilities. These caregiving employees face many challenges including stress and anxiety, loneliness, higher incidences of certain medical conditions, and financial woes. The presence of caregivers in the workforce – whether working from home or in the office - also poses challenges for employers including absenteeism and presenteeism, reduced employee engagement and productivity, and higher health care costs.

“The challenges for employee-caregivers have increased exponentially as a result of the risk for COVID-19 among older and vulnerable people, social distancing requirements, and 24/7 childcare responsibilities” said Candice Sherman, CEO of NEBGH. “Employers are trying to increase support for caregiving employees by providing more back-up help, flexible working hours and access to expert resources, and some are providing relief funds to help with expenses.”

According to the survey, 61% of respondents said caregiving is a top priority for them.  And while nearly half (45%) believe they are on par with similar organizations in developing caregiving-friendly benefits, almost a quarter (22%) see themselves as below or well below average, a clear sign there is much room for improvement. 

The 2019/2020 Employer Benchmarking Survey is a follow-up survey to one NEBGH conducted in 2017. Key findings from the new survey include:

  • The vast majority of employers (91%) recognize that caregivers may abandon self-care, a 17% increase from 2017.
  • Employers know that employees may not be comfortable identifying their caregiving status to managers – less than 50% thought they would be.
  • 84% of employers believe that having a caregiving-friendly workplace is important for retaining and attracting talent - a 9% increase from 2017.
  • Over half of respondents (58%) think their C-suite is supportive of caregiving policies – a 14% increase from 2017. Interestingly, 38% were not sure how supportive the C-suite would be and that therefore building a business case for caregiving benefits would be necessary. 
  • Nearly three quarters of respondents (71%) provide flexible work options.
  • An increasing number of employers are providing paid leave specifically for caregiving – the percentage of those not doing so fell from 89% to 77%.
  • Increasing leave for caregiving and implementing flexible work arrangements were at the top of benefit managers’ caregiving wish lists.

Financial support for the survey was provided by AARP. The survey report is available to employers and the public, and can be accessed here.

About Northeast Business Group on Health

NEBGH is an employer-led coalition of healthcare leaders and other stakeholders with the mission of empowering members to drive excellence in health and achieve the highest value in healthcare delivery and the consumer experience. 

Media Contact:
Candice Sherman
NEBGH
212.252.7440 ext. 234
csherman@nebgh.org

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Northeast Business Group on Health Releases Employer Guide to Address Health Care Needs of Lower-Wage Workers with Diabetes

February 12, 2020

Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) has released “Diabetes and Lower-Wage Workers,” a new employer guide to help HR and benefits leaders address the health care needs of lower-wage workers with diabetes and the rising costs associated with them.  

More than 30 million Americans – roughly one in 10 – have diabetes, making it one of the most prevalent diseases in the U.S. Studies show the cost of diagnosed diabetes has reached $327 billion annually, with health costs for individuals with diabetes more than twice those without. Low socioeconomic status doubles the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which is more common among racial and ethnic minorities and people who are less educated, and more likely those who are lower-wage earners.

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Northeast Business Group on Health Selected for Employer-led Effort to Improve Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Care in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Nationally

December 12, 2019

NEW YORK – December 12, 2019 – Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) has been selected to lead efforts in New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut to improve mental health and substance use care. This is part of a transformative initiative called The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use led by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) Center for Workplace Mental Health and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.

Launched last month, The Path Forward has embarked on a five-year plan to execute a disciplined, private sector approach to improve mental health and substance use care for Americans across the nation.

“We are very pleased that our organization has been selected to participate in this very important initiative to improve care for mental health and substance abuse disorders,” said Candice Sherman, CEO of NEBGH. “Employers, working in collaboration with health plans, providers and other stakeholders, can play a significant role in improving the access to high-quality, high-value behavioral health care and bringing care for mental health and substance abuse to the same level of care afforded to physical medical care.”

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Northeast Business Group on Health Releases Employer Guide to Providing High-Value Cancer Care

November 18, 2019

Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) today released “Delivering Value in Cancer Care: The Employer Perspective,” a comprehensive guide to help HR and benefits leaders assess and develop cancer-friendly care and benefit programs that offer high value to employees and families.

American Cancer Society estimates the total cost of cancer in health care expenses and lost productivity is more than $180 billion a year. Cancer is also relatively common, with an estimated 1.76 million new cancer cases predicted to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2019. Some new treatments have price tags that exceed $1 million, and with more effective treatments a reality, cancer survivorship creates additional care needs and costs.

“Cancer is a complex and expensive disease that impacts all aspects of a patient’s life, not just their health,” said Candice Sherman, CEO of NEBGH.  “For a growing number of employers, ensuring that employees and families receive high quality cancer care and maximizing the value of spending on care are top priorities. Unfortunately, while these priorities are clear, the roadmap to achieving them is not. That’s one reason why we developed this employer guide.”

The Guide, Delivering Value in Cancer Care: The Employer Perspective, is the culmination of a nine-month initiative that included interviews with national employers, health plans and care providers; a survey of 75 employers across the U.S.; and a roundtable discussion with employers, stakeholders and experts on cancer in the workplace issues.

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Northeast Business Group on Health and Yelp Announce Partnership to Display Maternity Care Measures for New York City and Long Island Hospitals

May 8, 2019

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, May 8, 2019 -- Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH), the New York-based employer-led coalition of healthcare stakeholders, and Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP), the leader in connecting people with great local businesses, today announced a partnership to add onto Yelp pages maternity care measures for the roughly 50 New York City and Long Island hospitals that provide maternity care services.

Under the partnership, NEBGH will provide Yelp with maternity care data from ExpectNY.com, a website NEBGH runs that includes publicly-available, searchable data on maternity procedures and practices at all New York City and Long Island hospitals that deliver babies. The maternity care measures that Yelp will display on the New York City and Long Island hospitals’ pages are among the most important ones for expecting mothers and families to learn about and take into consideration when planning to give birth. These include:

  • C-section Rate (NTSV) - The percentage of Caesarean section deliveries in “low-risk” pregnancies to mothers having their first baby.
  • Breastfeeding Rate - The percentage of newborns fed only breastmilk before discharge from this facility.
  • Episiotomy Rate - How often episiotomies are performed at this facility.
  • VBAC Rate - How often vaginal births among women with a prior C-section occur at this facility.
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Northeast Business Group on Health and AARP Release Employer Guide to Digital Tools for Caregivers

December 17, 2018

Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) and AARP launches “Digital Tools and Solutions for Caregivers: An Employer’s Guide” to help HR and benefits leaders support employees who are family caregivers. A past survey of employers found nearly 9 in 10 were interested in providing digital caregiving support tools and services for their employees. The guide from NEBGH and AARP is the latest in a series of collaborative initiatives to help employers support the millions of family caregivers in the workplace.

“With the number of employees who are caregivers expected to increase, employers are searching for ways to better support them,” said Candice Sherman, CEO of NEBGH. “However, rapid changes in technology make it increasingly difficult to develop effective digital programs for caregivers. We created this guide to help employers navigate the complex technology marketplace as new innovations are introduced.”

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