Care Transformation

Colon Cancer Screening PATH

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, and the American Cancer Society advises everyone who is 45 years of age and older to be screened for colon cancer. However, while screening – and possible removal of precancerous polyps – is associated with a reduction in fatal colorectal cancer, only 60% of eligible patients across UW Medicine have had any form of the available screening.

Colorectal cancer screening tests at UW Medicine include annual fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) or Fecal Immunochemical tests (FIT) which are stool sample lab cards for patients to take home, and two specialist procedures done by gastroenterologists – a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years.

With lessons learned from the Medicare Advantage CRC screening pilot, the Population Health Management team is embarking on a system-wide expansion of the colon cancer screening outreach to Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Commercial and Medicaid patients.

This outreach supports our busy clinicians in primary care and will lead to significant improvement in patient outcomes, improve HEDIS scores performance on payer scorecards for eligible populations, and enable UW Medicine to qualify for bonuses associated with these payer’s quality measures. It will also help us refine the identification of patients eligible for a colonoscopy and furnish colonoscopies within the UW Medicine system.