ScreenCancer Inc. says it increased the cancer screening rate for a group of 116 employees and spouses to 85%, from 59%, by calling up and offering help with arranging screenings.
ScreenCancer, Bedford, Mass., a cancer screening management firm, is reporting those figures in a pilot it conducted for a government employer in Wayne County, Ohio.
The study covered efforts to increase screening rates for colorectal, cervical, prostate and breast cancer in employees and spouses ages 50 and older.
In addition to arranging screenings, the telephone counselors talked to the health plan enrollees about the importance of the tests and called later to see if the enrollees had actually had the tests.
The first calls took about 10 to 15 minutes, the company says.
After 3 months, 65% of the non-compliant individuals had completed all recommended cancer screenings, the company says.
Suggestion: If plans really want patients to get preventive care, it might be better to call up enrollees and offer checkups when checkups are actually available, or get doctors to post calendars showing when appointments are available on the Web. The typical approach to scheduling routine care is just not working.
WHY ARE THEY UNINSURED?
A researcher at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), Washington, says the percentage of employed uninsured people who said they were uninsured because they were not offered coverage by their employers fell between December 1995 April 2010.
The EBRI analysis excludes workers with insurance from other sources, such as employment-based coverage as a dependent, those who purchased coverage directly from an insurer, and those covered by public sources of coverage.