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Axis Community Health’s Success With Cologuard Screening Implementation

Blog Contribution: Axis Community Health
June 2024

Colorectal cancer stands as the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, yet it is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Early detection is key, with a five-year relative survival rate of about 90% when discovered in initial stages. [1] Despite this promising statistic, screening rates hover around a mere 59%, with stark disparities across socioeconomic and racial lines.

Dr. Sonali Sheth presenting on Axis’s successful Cologuard implementation

Axis Community Health’s Quality Enhancement Team had the honor or presenting their findings at last month’s OCHIN Learning Forum in New Orleans. Their presentation titled, “Cologuard for All: Providing Equitable Access to Colorectal Cancer Screening for the Uninsured Patient Population,” explored the potential of Cologuard as a game-changer in this landscape. Cologuard, an mt-sDNA stool-based test, offers a non-invasive, patient-friendly screening option that remains effective for three years.

From Right to Left – Sylvia Madrid, Dr. Sonali Sheth, Angelina Speltz,

Axis presenters, Angelina Speltz (Sr. Director of Quality Enhancement), Dr. Sonali Sheth (Medical Director of Population Health), and Sylvia Madrid (EHR Support Analyst), focused on the Exact Sciences Patient Assistance Program, an initiative that supplies Cologuard kits at no cost to low-income, uninsured patients. This program not only aligns with Axis’s mission, but also addresses a critical gap in healthcare equity. Their objectives were to:

  1. Develop a workflow for support staff to efficiently distribute Cologuard kits through the Exact Sciences Patient Assistance Program.
  2. Identify the benefits of offering a choice in colorectal screening to all patients, irrespective of insurance status, to boost screening rates and overall health outcomes.
  3. Address barriers that prevent patients from completing colorectal cancer screenings.

After implementing Cologuard and other colorectal cancer screening improvement initiatives, Axis’ screening rates went from 44.4% in 2022 to 53.10% in 2023. Axis is committed to continuing their work to bring awareness of the critical need for equitable access to colorectal cancer screening.

You can learn more about Axis Community Health Here.