Colorectal cancer treatment costs billions of dollars every year, with the majority of costs due to the late identification of the disease. The American Cancer Society has reported that only 39% of people with colorectal cancer are diagnosed when the disease is localized and has a 90% five-year survival rate [1]. Fortunately, regular screenings can lower the number of deaths from colorectal cancer by detecting cancer at earlier stages when treatment is more effective.

As more than one-third of American adults do not receive the recommended colorectal cancer screenings, rethinking strategies to increase member engagement with these services is crucial [2]. LetsGetChecked’s at-home Colon Cancer Screening Test can help health plans close gaps in care and increase member compliance rates with colon cancer screening (COL), a crucial HEDIS measure.


About the colorectal cancer screening HEDIS measure


Increasing screening rates plays a large role in meeting HEDIS quality measures. The Colorectal Cancer HEDIS Measure was introduced because screening rates for colorectal cancer lag behind other cancer screening rates. The updated HEDIS measure aligns with colorectal cancer screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. This measure focuses on adults between ages 50 and 75 who have had appropriate colorectal cancer screenings [3].

Acceptable forms of screening include fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) during the measurement year. This quality measure rates health plans on colon cancer screening compliance and member satisfaction. Meeting this measure is important as these quality scores influence the level of reimbursement that a health plan can receive under value-based health care structures. Improving screening access and compliance can earn health plans quality credit when patients receive the approved types of screening.


How at-home testing can increase screening rates


While colorectal cancer screening rates remain low, they dropped even more during the pandemic since few routine screening colonoscopies were performed. At-home Fecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT) have emerged as a convenient and effective way to increase member engagement with quality screenings. These at-home tests can help health plans expand their care offerings and strengthen patient access to this potentially life-saving screening test.

Members can use these non-invasive at-home test kits within their homes with no in-person interaction necessary. Sample collection and mailing are simple and convenient, making it easy for members to receive this important screening. The American Cancer Society has determined that FIT testing is the most appealing colorectal cancer screening method for achieving high patient compliance [4].


Financial benefits of meeting the colon cancer screening HEDIS measure


Meeting this HEDIS quality measure can close gaps in care while providing financial incentives to health plans who have a record of delivering the high-quality care necessary for members to get and stay healthy. Additionally, increasing member engagement with colorectal cancer screenings can decrease the use of costly acute care. Using at-home FIT tests as a screening tool is cost-effective since it can identify the right member population for colonoscopies and other follow-up tests. It also plays a critical role in identifying potential cancer patients at an early, treatable stage of the disease.

These simple screening tests can improve member health and reduce unnecessary procedure costs. According to a computer simulation that analyzed 100,000 average risk people and compared screening methods results, annual FIT testing saved more lives and cost the least of any colorectal cancer screening method, including colonoscopies [5].


Meet the COL HEDIS measure with LetsGetChecked’s Colon Cancer Screening Test


As health plans across the United States review their colorectal cancer screening practices, many are looking for a solution that combines best practices in member engagement with leading FIT technology. LetsGetChecked’s at-home testing solution can increase member screening engagement to help health plans meet the COL HEDIS measure. Together, we can improve screening compliance rates, increase the early identification of colorectal cancer patients, and decrease colorectal cancer treatment costs.

Members can take our simple, non-invasive home Colon Cancer Screening test to screen for colon cancer from the comfort and privacy of their homes. Our team of board-certified physicians will review test results while our nursing team is on standby throughout the testing process to ensure your members receive the accurate and quality care they deserve. Samples are processed in our CLIA approved and CAP-accredited labs, the same ones used by primary care providers, hospitals, and government programs.

LetsGetChecked is committed to working with you to improve the quality of care and health outcomes for your members so you can improve HEDIS quality measure performance. Contact us to learn more about our at-home screening solutions or sign up for our monthly newsletter to get curated insights from our team of experts, event invitations, and industry news you can use.


References


  1. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures-2020-2022.pdf
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p1105-colorectal-cancer-screening.html
  3. https://www.ncqa.org/hedis/measures/colorectal-cancer-screening/
  4. https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/understanding-tests-that-screen-for-colon-cancer.html?sssourcesiteid=null&sscontributor=true
  5. https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/blog/fit_beats_all_other_screening_for_effectiveness_and_cost/