MCA Employer Challenge


The Minnesota Cancer Alliance and the American Cancer Society challenge Minnesota employers to make a “Commitment to Action” to help prevent and detect cancer. Specifically, we challenge you to increase the number of your employees who are up-to-date on recommended cancer screening tests.

In 2014, the Challenge focuses on colon cancer screening. Why? Because colon cancer screening can save lives. Yet, one-third of Minnesotans who should get screened are NOT getting screened. Fact: More Minnesotans die from colon cancer than from either breast or prostate cancer. Your business can help change that.

Why Businesses and Colon Cancer Screening?

Three convincing arguments explain why this is an excellent time for businesses to take on the challenge of increasing appropriately-timed colon cancer screening for employees.

1. Cost containment.

Colon cancer is preventable and treatable, provided screening is appropriately-timed and professionally performed. It’s far less expensive to offer coverage and work with employees to get screened than it is to cover the costs associated with colon cancer treatment and the loss in productivity that accompanies it. Chances are up to one-third or more of your employees who meet the age-eligible guidelines for colon cancer screening have not been screened.

2. High-value prevention.

Colon cancer screening ranks as a “high-value clinical preventive service”, according to the National Business Group on Health’s Purchaser’s Guide to Preventive Services. That means colon cancer screening is not only cost-effective. It can actually prevent disease and save lives.

3. Concrete benefit for employees.

Starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act requires private health insurers to cover recommended clinical preventive services such as colon cancer screening without any patient cost-sharing. Why not lead instead of follow the push for prevention?

To learn more about the business case for colon cancer screening click on one of the links below.

Become an MCA Worksite Challenge Partner

By accepting the 2014 Challenge, you agree to champion efforts to increase recommended colon cancer screening for all of your employees age 50 and older. If your employees don’t know there are a variety of screening options, you and your workplace wellness team will work to educate them. If a policy change is needed to give your employees time off for testing, you will support that change. If health benefits need to be retooled so that getting tested is affordable for employees, you will invest needed resources – staff and financial. Joining the Challenge means you and your organization are actively engaged in the fight against colon cancer. It’s a preventable, treatable, beatable disease.

Win recognition as an industry leader who invests in employee health AND the bottom line;

Earn respect from employees who can see that your commitment to health goes beyond talk to action

Join the MCA Employer Challenge

Here’s what the MCA challenges businesses to do:

  • Commit to participate: Get the commitment IN WRITING of your chief executive officer or head of human resources and decide to actively participate in the Challenge.
  • Obtain baseline data and set a target for improvement: Obtain your organization’s aggregate colon cancer screening rates for the last one or two calendar years and set a target for doing better this year.  No personal health information is needed.
  • Make a plan: Develop an action plan for achieving your goal.
  • Execute the plan and see if it works: Partner with your health plan, wellness contractor, or third party administrator to build awareness of how important cancer screening is and to motivate employees to get screened.

A pretty simple and easy way to improve the health of your employees and reduce the costs associated with preventable conditions, right? What are you waiting for?

Fill out the Employer Challenge Commitment Form and get started today!

MCA Employer Challenge Guidelines for Reporting

Click herefor the cancer screening data collection and management guidelines.

Support and Resources

For our part, the MCA and the ACS stand ready to support your efforts in whatever way we can. We have provided a list of free resources below that can help you promote the use of colon cancer screening. In addition, if you have questions about engaging upper management, working with your health plan, or related issues, Matt Flory at ACS will be happy to talk with you. You can reach him at: or 651-255-8190.

The Community Guide for Preventive Services

The Community Guide is a free resource to help you choose programs and policies to improve health and prevent disease which have been proven effective, cost-effective, and are likely to produce a return on investment. Examples include:

  • Provide incentives such as flex time or paid time off/sick leave, for appointments with health professionals.
  • Reduce out-of-pocket costs by eliminating or minimizing co-payments or deductibles for cancer screenings. Costs can be reduced through a variety of approaches, including vouchers, reimbursements, reduction in co-pays, or adjustments insurance coverage. Efforts to reduce client costs may be combined with measures to provide client education, information about program availability, or measures to reduce structural barriers.
  • Extend coverage of these services to spouses and dependents of members/constituents/employees and include these services in retiree health plans.
  • Work with your health plan to ensure that the plan’s healthcare providers are routinely referring patients for screenings.

American Cancer Society

ACS Colorectal Cancer Employer Toolkit. This tool kit gives you resources you can adapt for your organization. It includes suggestions and ideas for promoting general awareness about colon cancer screening through email blasts, newsletter inserts, quick tips, and recipes. All materials are designed for any size business or organization, and can be tailored to your company’s needs. Contact Matt Flory at or 651-255-8190 if you have any additional questions about the additional resources listed below:

Sage Scopes – Minnesota Department of Health

Sage Scopes is Minnesota’s colorectal cancer prevention program. It is funded primarily by CDC and administered through the Minnesota Department of Health. Sage Scopes has several materials you may use. Look at materials online and contact Laura Friedenberg with questions or to order: or 651-201-3543.

Make it Your Own

MIYO helps you promote colorectal cancer screening with effective and professional materials created by you, and for the populations you serve. With MIYO’s web-based system, you choose from evidence-based approaches like small media and client reminders, then customize them for the people you serve by choosing from a rich library of audience-tested images, messages and designs. The result? Culturally appropriate materials targeted to your priority populations.

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The Healthier Worksite Initiative site addresses workforce health promotion. Well-constructed and well-run programs can reduce costs to the employer and improve employee health and morale. Visit their website to find information, resources, and step-by-step toolkits to help you improve the health of your employees.

CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign informs men and women aged 50 years and older about the importance of having regular colorectal cancer screening tests. Their website has free colorectal cancer print materials and PSAs for radio and TV.

CEO Roundtable on Cancer

The CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ is a program that provides a comprehensive way for employers to have a healthier workplace by focusing on cancer risk reduction, prevention, early detection, and access to clinical trials and high-quality care.

Love Your Colon

This Love Your Colon campaign offers simple, straightforward pieces to help you educate your employees and motivate them to get screened. Available in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

What You Need to Get Started

These documents will get you started. Take a look, then complete your pledge to participate today!

For More Information

For questions related to the MCA Employer Challenge or about completing the Challenge Commitment Form and data collection, please contact Matt Flory at or 651-255-8190.

Additional Resources