Collaboration to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Low-Income Uninsured Patients
Published Date:Apr 15 2011
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2011; 8(3).
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. CRC screening allows for prevention through the removal of precancerous lesions and early detection of cancer.
Ride for Life Alaska (RFL), a nonprofit organization that raises funds to fight cancer, and the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center (ANHC), which is Alaska's largest community health center, joined efforts to provide CRC screening and outreach to an ethnically diverse group of low-income underinsured or uninsured patients residing in and around Anchorage, Alaska.
RFL and ANHC worked with gastroenterologists, medical practices, and pathology services to contribute pro bono and reduced-fee services for CRC screening. Information to patients was distributed through signs in the clinic, flyers, and the ANHC website.
CRC screening was increased in this population. During 2007-2009, there were 2,561 immunochemical fecal occult blood tests given to patients, and 1,558 were completed (61%); 24% were positive. Sixteen gastroenterologists, 4 medical practices, and 2 laboratories provided 111 follow-up colonoscopies and pathology services to patients identified through the CRC screening program who did not have other funding resources available for follow-up care.
This program provides a model for leveraging scarce screening resources by drawing on multiple partners to increase CRC screening. Recommendations for those seeking to initiate similar programs are to have memoranda of agreement in place and a clear scope of work for all participating people and organizations to avoid delays in program implementation; hire a screening care coordinator to manage patient care and collaborate with medical practices; and identify program champions who have the energy and persistence to craft such partnerships.
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