Study Shows The Potential For Health Plans To Implement Interventions To Improve Colon Cancer Screening Rates
A previously proven telephone outreach intervention delivered by research-based staff to increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screening was successfully translated to the health plan arena with staff of a Medicaid managed care organization (MMCO) increasing (CRC) screening rates by one-third to nearly double among publicly insured urban women in this study.
The trial involving 2,240 women overdue for screening and insured by one of three New York City MMCOs found intervention women were significantly more likely than usual care women to become up-to-date on CRC screening during the study period with screening rates 6 percent higher in the intervention arm.
The authors note, however, that the increases varied from 1 percent to 14 percent across the participating MMCOs, with the overall increase being driven by increases at one particular MMCO. At this MMCO, telephone outreach focused solely on CRC screening, while at the other two MMCOs, telephone outreach included support for cervical and breast cancer screening as well as CRC screening. Comparing eligible intervention women reached by telephone with eligible usual care women with whom no contact was attempted, they found intervention arm screening rates were between 12 percent and 26 percent higher than usual care at the three MMCOs, with an overall increase of 15 percent (again, primarily due to screening increases at one of the MMCOs).
The authors conclude these findings show that MMCOs, key players in the delivery of health care to publicly insured and underserved populations, can successfully implement interventions to increase CRC screening, reducing health care disparities among a difficult to reach population.
Telephone Outreach to Increase Colon Cancer Screening in Medicaid Managed Care Organizations: A Randomized Controlled Trial
By Allen J. Dietrich, MD, et al
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire
News From The Annals Of Family Medicine: July/August 2013