ASGE has selected Community Health Care Systems, Inc. (CHCS), a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Georgia, and the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi) to administer developmental projects that are designed to increase the follow-up colonoscopy rate for uninsured and underinsured people with a positive or abnormal stool-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening test.
“We are both proud and excited to be working with these exceptional organizations on this crucial project. Indeed, this project has the potential to save countless lives,” says ASGE President Jennifer Christie, MD, FASGE. “CHCS and MedChi have excellent reputations as well as proven and demonstrable track records of working with underserved populations.”
Dr. Christie adds, “This project is going to address a critical need because the number of underserved patients who have a positive or abnormal CRC screening test result getting a timely follow-up colonoscopy is unacceptably low, keeping in mind that colonoscopy is the most sensitive test to detect and prevent colorectal cancer.”
CHCS CEO Carla Belcher explains, “As an FQHC that cares for underserved patients facing considerable challenges, ASGE’s project is totally aligned with our mission. It’s a great honor to participate in this project, which we believe is going to make a tremendous impact in improving coordination and accessibility of care for some of the most vulnerable patients we serve in middle Georgia.”
MedChi CEO Gene Ransom agrees, saying, “ASGE’s project is a natural extension of our mission and an important public health initiative that presents a unique opportunity to reach a diverse demographic and geographic patient base across Maryland. We are thrilled to participate in this important and innovative effort.” MedChi will be working with physicians in a mix of urban and rural settings in Maryland.
In the next year, CHCS and MedChi will each identify and assist hundreds of uninsured and underinsured patients to get screened for colorectal cancer using a stool-based DNA test. CHCS and MedChi will support these patients with “navigators” who will guide them throughout the full continuum of care. Plus, these patients will receive this care at no cost to them.
ASGE will use the results of this project to develop a roadmap and model public policy that can be used in other states.
ASGE, CHCS and MedChi will be collaborating with key stakeholders, including physicians and allied health care professionals, patient navigators, legislators and regulators, state and local advocacy organizations and community leaders.
This project is mainly funded by an unrestricted grant from Exact Sciences, with additional support from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Sebela Pharmaceuticals’ Braintree Laboratories affiliate.
View more details on ASGE’s CRC Screening Project.