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PFCD and WellPoint Advocate for Cancer Patient AND Caregiver Support

Washington, D.C. (November 14, 2013) – The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) and WellPoint, Inc. hosted Innovative Support Programs for Cancer Patients and Caregivers today, highlighting the importance of programs and policies that foster comprehensive healthcare solutions aimed at improving care and lowering costs. Innovations in cancer detection and treatment have increased survival rates dramatically with significant breakthroughs within sight. Those changes have shifted more cancer care to an outpatient setting, making empowering patients and their caregivers critically important. This co-sponsored briefing was part of an ongoing collaboration focused on addressing the crippling impact of chronic disease by sharing innovative solutions working today to improve care quality and patient outcomes.“The innovations in cancer care we’ve witnessed are dramatic, and we need to recognize that the shift to greater reliance on outpatient care has implications for both people and the system. Including caregivers in the healthcare equation is imperative. The impact of chronic disease doesn’t stop at the individual patient, but is carried into the home where family and friends who are providing for the patient are significantly affected too,” said Ken Thorpe, PFCD Chairman. “Assuring that caregivers are included in the care team and receive the support they need is essential to reducing the burden of chronic disease overall.”November is National Caregiver Month. According to the Caregiver Action Network, with two in five adults (39 percent) in the U.S. caring for a sick or disabled loved one, family caregivers provide $450 billion worth of unpaid care each year. With more than 300 types of cancer resulting in a broad spectrum of issues specific to cancer patients, today’s panelists dissected evolving models of care and treatment advances, changing roles for patients, caregivers, payors and employers, and the policy implications raised by these changes.Featured panel speakers included:

  • Ken Thorpe, PhD, Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
  • Jennifer Malin, MD, PhD, Medical Director for Oncology Care Management, WellPoint, Inc.
  • Kald Abdallah, MD, PhD, Head of North America Medical Affairs – Immunology and Acting Head of Medical Affairs – Oncology, Sanofi
  • John Schall, CEO, Caregiver Action Network

“Fifty percent of all men and 33 percent of all women in American will get cancer during their lifetime,*” explained Jennifer Malin, Medical Director for Oncology Care Management at WellPoint, Inc. “Yet, one in three people treated with chemotherapy do not receive treatment consistent with medical evidence and best practices. Clearly, oncology quality of care, along with growing cost issues, deserve our focused attention.”*American Cancer Society, 2013; Eheman et al., 2012.# # #Partnership to Fight Chronic DiseaseThe Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an internationally-recognized NGO of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs: chronic disease. For a collection of statistics and commentary on the impact of chronic disease, please visit WellPoint, Inc. WellPoint is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. We believe that our health connects us all. So we focus on being a valued health partner and delivering quality products and services that give members access to the care they need. With more than 67 million people served by our affiliated companies including approximately 36 million enrolled in our family of health plans, we can make a real difference to meet the needs of our diverse customers. We’re an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We serve members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In most of these service areas, our plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve customers in other states through our Amerigroup, CareMore and 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiaries. To find out more about us, go to