Colorectal cancer screening: Considerations when implementing your program

10 October 2023

Colorectal cancer screening 

Considerations when implementing your program

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S. and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Yet an estimated 60% of CRC deaths are preventable for those who follow colorectal cancer screening guidelines.

This has payers seeking a direct, cost-effective solution that drives screenings and quality patient care among members.

gaps in care program is an end-to-end solution that combines convenient at-home access to a fit test with quality reporting and patient engagement. Its goal is to help improve quality measures performance, lower costs and improve access to care.

Confronting the barriers in CRC screening 

When evaluating the right approach to a gaps in care program, it’s important to consider common patient misconceptions about CRC screenings. 

Common colorectal cancer screening myths:

  • Screenings can’t identify polyps before they’re cancerous 
  • Screenings are only needed for those who have symptoms 
  • Screenings are only needed if there’s a family history of CRC

Social, cultural, financial or logistical barriers can also keep patients from accessing care.

Barriers to CRC screening access include:

  • Job constraints where there’s difficulty going to a doctor during normal business hours
  •  Lack of insurance
  •  Misinformation from their community on the discomfort of the fit test

Convenient access to options that can be performed at home can help make colorectal cancer screenings a reality for more individuals. Studies have shown that CRC screening adherence improves when patients are provided options like a colonoscopy or fecal-based testing

Bottom line: Patients want to feel like they’re in control, particularly regarding their healthcare. 

Seeking answers to inspire action 

Labcorp and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance teamed up to hear from 2,000 people who need screenings to identify where additional barriers lie. 

The survey focused on identifying consumer perceptions of CRC screenings to learn how to inspire action. The research brings surprising insights:

58% of people are more likely to take an at-home fit test if received directly from their insurance carrier
36% are more likely if they receive it from their employer
60% of those who are of age for screening but have yet to do it would prefer an at-home test kit over a colonoscopy

Solutions that meet members where they are 

When Labcorp partners with payers, we know that effective healthcare solutions require more than just quality lab testing. Managing the process from patient engagement to results, we provide at-home immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT) collection kits for easy access, privacy and convenience. To maintain engagement with members who opted in to the gaps in care program, our personalized workflow leverages omni-channel engagement, including email, letter and text message (SMS). 

This allows members to choose the format they prefer for reminders and other forms of communication. We also share our learnings through member engagement reports with payers to help them achieve better results. We’re able to give payers a direct line of sight into our customer care team, who plays a vital role in answering questions and simplifying the at-home test kit process for both payers and patients.

Labcorp offers two full-service activation and engagement program options 

  1. Auto-deploy: A solution where test kits are sent to all eligible members 
  2. Opt-in: A solution where members request test kits for themselves. 

One size does not fit all 

Key considerations when choosing the right solution for each unique population.

  1. Timing
    • An auto-deploy solution may be a good fit if time is of the essence, like during the end of the year. Auto-deploy is also a great way to follow up with patients who are putting off care in general.
  2. Geography
    • Where your population lives matters. Harder-to-reach locations can impact parameters and costs.
  3. Digital Preference
    • An opt-in solution may not be the most accessible option for an older population. In certain cases, autodeploy kits that show up at their doorstep with more of a physical paper engagement might be the best option
  4. Cost 
    • If you’re servicing a large population, auto-deploy may be too expensive. In this case, consider opt-in solutions, which target engaged individuals who are more likely to use the test kit and follow up with their primary care provider. This can result in higher return rates and provide opportunities to interact with patients throughout the year.
  5. End-to-End Program Capabilities
    • Any positive result is followed up on with Labcorp’s clinical outreach team, encouraging follow up with PCP or specialist.

Results that make a difference

Combining at-home sample collection kits and personalized engagement workflows helps provide a quality member experience for the payers. By collaborating with payers on customization that can help us both learn how to best engage members, we not only develop better, more cost-effective processes, but we also drive practices that translate to real outcomes that improve health and improve lives.


Gaps in care programs at Labcorp

Discover how the power of national reference lab testing quality combined with convenient at-home options to access testing help you efficiently improve population health.