We’re providing in-home test kits this summer to certain Blue Community HMOSM members who, based on our data, need a colorectal cancer screening. We’re working with vendors to send the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kits to the members at no additional charge.
As a trusted provider, you may want to encourage our members who are your patients to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about their health with a FIT kit. In 2022 we provided 619 FIT kits to Blue Community HMO members:
- 139 members returned their kits and closed this gap in their care.
- Test results were sent to the members and their health care providers. Eight kits were abnormal or positive, meaning the sample contained blood when collected.
Why Use FIT
The U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce recognizes annual FIT testing for colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45.
- FIT testing is appropriate screening for people with an average risk for colorectal cancer. Average risk means no family history of colorectal cancer, no personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, no previous polyps and no previous colorectal cancer.
- When compared to stool DNA tests, FIT kits have fewer false positives, which reduces unnecessary colonoscopies, according to the National Cancer Institute. Unlike stool DNA tests like Cologuard®, FIT kits require only a swab rather than a stool sample.
How In-Home Testing Works
The in-home testing process is quick and easy for members:
- Vendors send the kits to a sample of eligible members who have a gap in care for colorectal cancer screening. Completing the kit is voluntary.
- The kits don’t require fasting, dietary restrictions or preparation. Members may take medications according to their normal schedule.
- Members complete the test kit at home, provide the name of their health care provider, if available, and mail the test for processing to the vendor by Dec. 31, 2023. An addressed, postage-paid envelope is included with the kit.
- The vendor sends results to the member and to their provider in three to four weeks.
How You Can Help
- Consider discussing the importance of colorectal cancer screening and healthy lifestyle choices with your patients. If one of your patients receives a kit and calls your office with questions, discuss their screening options.
- Document any test results in your patient’s medical record and discuss the results with your patient.
Material presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician. Physicians and other health care providers are encouraged to use their own best medical judgment based upon all available information and the condition of the patient in determining the best course of treatment.