ASGE has embarked on this Colorectal Cancer Screening Project to develop a financially sustainable model that can be replicated across the U.S. to ensure patients in minority or otherwise underserved populations who have a positive stool-based colorectal cancer screening test get a timely follow-up colonoscopy.
The overall colorectal cancer screening rate in the U.S. has increased in the last 10 years, but the number of uninsured or underinsured people who get a colonoscopy after they’ve had a positive stool-based test remains unacceptably low – at just 50 percent to 70 percent.
This low adherence rate is attributed to a diverse mix of clinical and non-clinical barriers, including a lack of awareness among patients and health care professionals, local conditions and legislative and regulatory policies.
More than 130,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, and nearly 50,000 of them die from the disease. Yet, colorectal cancer has a 90 percent survival rate when it’s detected early enough, so this project has an immense potential to save lives.
ASGE will be collaborating with health care facilities in Georgia and Maryland that have proven track records of working with underserved populations and that provide the full continuum of colorectal cancer care to encourage patients to follow-up with a colonoscopy after receiving positive stool-based test results.
As part of an integrated effort, ASGE will also be working with health care systems, physicians and allied health care professionals, patient navigators, legislators and regulators, state and local advocacy organizations and community leaders.
With a potential for three phases (2023-2025), the project includes education, patient navigation and outreach components. The project is designed to create a roadmap that will help the most vulnerable patients navigate the process from beginning to end – including screening and, if applicable, a timely follow-up colonoscopy and treatment.
In 2023, lawmakers in Georgia and Maryland honored ASGE for its efforts to raise awareness about the crucial need for people to get screened for colorectal cancer – including Georgia HR 510, Georgia SR 349, Maryland SR 356 and citations by Maryland Sen. Clarence K. Lam, MD, MPH, and Maryland Rep. Terri L. Hill, MD.
This project is being funded with a grant from Exact Sciences.