More than 380,000 Amazon employees and families are eligible for the company’s plan to pay travel costs for workers diagnosed with cancer to visit a Los Angeles-area health care system.
Those eligible for the travel benefits program launched in April must receive care from doctors at City of Hope, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The California medical center has contracts with several other companies and has been focusing on cancer research since the 1940s.
“Amazon proudly employs more than 275,000 people across the U.S. … We believe that it’s critical to provide our employees with a comprehensive cancer care program – from real-time support to second opinions and treatment planning,” Amazon Director of Global Benefits Dene Sparrman said in a statement Tuesday.
— City of Hope (@cityofhope) October 15, 2019
Companies may pay additional costs for airfare and hotels under such a program; however, it could stimulate competitive prices and better care for employees who are willing to travel out of state or city for cancer treatment, according to WSJ.
Amazon’s plan could also curb health care costs by setting patients up with specialists to decrease misdiagnosis, Sparrman said.
Employees will also be able to have video conferences with City of Hope doctors if their states allow it, Fox Business reported. (RELATED: Amazon Replies After Joe Biden Claims Company Is Not Paying Its Fair Share)
“Cancer can affect anyone no matter where they live, but not everyone lives geographically close to a comprehensive cancer center that can give them the best chance for survival,” City of Hope President of Strategy and Business Ventures Harlan Levine said in a statement.
“City of Hope is … always thinking about practical ways to provide best-in-class care, and we are excited to partner with Amazon on this important initiative designed to provide expertise to cancer patients and their treating physicians so the right care is delivered at the right time in patients’ own communities,” Levine continued.
Doctors who work for City of Hope will review patient records from local doctors and may seek additional tests and information, WSJ reported. The health care company told WSJ that its doctors have recommended new diagnoses or treatments for 84% of its complex cancer patients in one employer program.
“Instead of waiting for patients to get the wrong care first, then reaching out to the expert, this model is designed so that the patient has access to expertise as early as possible to help ensure the correct care is delivered first,” Sparrman told WSJ.
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