At-home Diagnostics for Colorectal Cancer HEDIS Measure

Health Plans

At-home Diagnostics for Colorectal Cancer HEDIS Measure

Ash Team

FIT screenings are a game-changer in colorectal cancer testing, offering reliability, convenience, and accuracy. As the healthcare industry continues to embrace remote diagnostic solutions, the integration of at-home FIT screenings meet HEDIS standards and revolutionize preventive care for patients who may not otherwise interact with healthcare. We delve into the realm of at-home diagnostics and explore how Ash Wellness is pioneering the integration of FIT screenings to bolster HEDIS compliance and improve patient outcomes.

What are at-home diagnostics?

At-home diagnostics are test kits that enable patients to collect samples such as blood, stool, urine, or other materials and mail them to a laboratory for analysis. These programs can be initiated by healthcare providers or insurance plans to screen patients, while digital health companies may also offer the option to order kits through digital platforms or retail pharmacies.

At-home diagnostics helps patients overcome various barriers to healthcare, including transportation challenges, difficulties in taking time off work, and child care obligations. They can be beneficial for patients in remote or rural areas with limited access to healthcare facilities who connect to essential support through telehealth. Some patients may also prefer the convenience and privacy of completing tests at home, potentially due to concerns about stigma or mistrust of medical providers.

What is the Colorectal Cancer Screening measure for HEDIS?

The Colorectal Cancer Screening measure for HEDIS evaluates individuals aged 45–75 who receive appropriate screening through methods such as annual fecal occult blood tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, colonoscopy every 10 years, computed tomography colonography every 5 years, or stool DNA tests every 3 years. Screening is crucial as it can detect colorectal cancer in its early stages, leading to a 90 percent survival rate after five years.

What is a FIT screening?

A FIT screening, short for fecal immunochemical test, is a type of fecal occult blood test and a method used to screen for colon cancer. It is a type of at-home diagnostic that detects hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of cancer. FIT is designed to specifically identify human blood from the lower intestines, minimizing interference from medications or dietary factors. Compared to other tests, FIT offers higher accuracy and produces fewer false positive results.

Chat with Ash Wellness about onboarding remote FIT screening to boost HEDIS.

Is a FIT screening reliable?

While a colonoscopy is considered the gold standard for detecting and preventing colorectal cancer by detecting blood in the stool, FIT offers a less invasive alternative that helps overcome barriers to care such as privacy concerns. FIT is often used as an initial screening tool, especially for patients of average risk, with the potential to encourage more people to undergo screening. 

How does a FIT screening work?

  1. Collect a bowel movement: A FIT kit may contain special paper to place over the toilet to catch the bowel movement, or patients can use plastic wrap or a clean container. 
  2. Take a stool sample: The kit will include a wooden stick or applicator brush to scrape the stool sample from the bowel movement. Patients follow the instructions to gather the sample from the stool accurately.
  3. Prepare the stool sample: Patients eather smear the stool on a special test card or insert the applicator with the stool sample into a tube provided in the kit.
  4. Label and seal the sample: Patients label the sample correctly and seal it as directed to maintain its integrity.
  5. Return the samples: Patients follow the provided instructions for returning the samples, which may involve mailing them or taking them to a healthcare provider or a laboratory.

How does FIT screening meet the Colorectal Cancer Screening measure for HEDIS?

Health plans can institute screening programs to target members aged 50–75 by mailing FIT kits. High kit return rates allow plans to complete the annual fecal occult blood test requirement for HEDIS. Higher HEDIS scores can lead to greater reimbursements and profit for health plans. 

At-home diagnostics from Ash Wellness can improve HEDIS

Health plans that partner with Ash Wellness can order white-labeled FIT kits to member homes and collect data through the Ash provider portal to achieve HEDIS compliance. In addition to FIT screening, Ash Wellness offers an extensive selection of 150+ laboratory diagnostic tests tailored for clients seeking to initiate at-home testing programs. We grant access to our nationally accredited CLIA/CAP certified laboratory network with a single integration. Through our white-label offerings, clients can uphold brand consistency for kits and digital platforms.

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