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2018 data shows gains in colorectal cancer screening rates

Congratulations to all who are championing efforts to increase CRC screenings!

It was an exciting news for cancer control staff who work to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. According to Emily Butler Bell, MPH, director for colorectal cancer interventions from the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), 2018 data just released show exciting progress in screening rates.

“The successes we are seeing in health centers are due in large part to the valuable technical assistance and quality improvement coaching that ACS staff provide,” said Emily. At least one health center in each ACS region reached an 80% screening rate. 

According to the 2018 Uniform Data System (UDS) data released by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), significant gains in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates have been achieved n the nation’s federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), also called community health centers.

The UDS CRC screening rate reached 44.1% in 2018, which amounts to a 14%  point increase since HRSA began tracking CRC screening as a UDS measure in 2012. Furthermore, 31 health centers reached the 80% goal in 2018, up from 22 in 2017.

Health centers serve 28 million patients, many of whom are at or below the federal poverty level and come from underserved communities that experience lower CRC screening rates. Because of this, health centers have tremendous potential to improve CRC screening rates and to reduce CRC morbidity and mortality in racially and ethnically diverse, socioeconomically challenged communities across the country.

SMALLER PHOTO: Staff from Sandhills Medical Foundation, a health center system in South Carolina that recently reached 80% screening rates. Kim Hale, senior manager of State and Primary Care Systems with ACS, partnered in this work. 

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