Helen Darling is president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health (formerly Washington Business Group on Health), a national non-profit, membership organization devoted exclusively to providing practical solutions to its employer-members' most important health care problems and representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues. Its 347 members, including 68 of the Fortune 100 in 2012, purchase health and disability benefits for over 50 million employees, retirees and dependents.
The Business Group’s Institute on Health Care Costs and Solutions is devoted to finding practical solutions from a business perspective to the nation’s growing crisis of rapidly rising costs and affordability of care, on top of continuing problems of patient safety and quality. The Business Group’s National Committee on Evidence-Based Benefit Design, Global Health Benefits Institute and National Leadership Committee on Consumerism and Engagement are ways the membership is engaging in value purchasing and the global economy. In 2009, Helen was given the WorldatWork’s highest honor, the Keystone Award, in recognition of her contributions to human resources and benefits. In 2012, she was given NCQA’s Health Quality Leader Award. She was named in 2011 as one of “100 Most Influential People in Health Care” in the United States by Modern Healthcare. She was selected in 2003 as a National Associate to the National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of her contributions to the Institute of Medicine. She was given the President’s Award by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2010.
Darling serves on: the Committee on Performance Measurement of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (co-chair for 10 years); the Medical Advisory Panel, Technology Evaluation Center (Blue Cross Blue Shield Association); the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Value and Science-Driven Health Care; Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee; the National Advisory Council of AHRQ; and as co-chair of the National Priorities Partners. She is on the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum and the Congressionally-created Reagan-Udall Foundation. She is featured on CNN, CNBC, ABC, and NPR on trends in health care costs and benefits. She is also widely quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Business Insurance, and many other journals.
Previously, Darling served as practice leader at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, and directed the purchasing of health benefits and disability at Xerox Corporation for 55,000 U.S. employees, plus their dependents and retirees. Before joining Xerox, Darling was a principal at William W. Mercer. Earlier in her career, Darling was an advisor to Sen. David Durenberger, the ranking Republican on the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. She directed three studies at the Institute of Medicine for the National Academy of Sciences. Darling received a master’s degree in demography and sociology and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in history and English, cum laude, from the University of Memphis.