Automated telephone calls to enhance colorectal cancer screening: economic analysis.

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The American journal of managed care (Impact Factor: 2.17). 11/2012; 18(11):691-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objectives: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of an automated telephone intervention for colorectal cancer screening from a managed care perspective, using data from a pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Methods: Intervention patients received calls for fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) screening. We searched patients' electronic medical records for any screening (defined as FOBT, flexible sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, or colonoscopy) during follow-up. Intervention costs included project implementation and management, telephone calls, patient identification, and tracking. Screening costs included FOBT (kits, mailing, and processing) and any completed screening tests during follow-up. We estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of the cost per additional screen. Results: At 6 months, average costs for intervention and control patients were $37 (25% screened) and $34 (19% screened), respectively. The ICER at 6 months was $42 per additional screen, less than half what other studies have reported. Cost-effectiveness probability was 0.49, 0.84, and 0.99 for willingness-to-pay thresholds of $40, $100, and $200, respectively. Similar results were seen at 9 months. A greater increase in FOBT testing was seen for patients aged >70 years (45/100 intervention, 33/100 control) compared with younger patients (25/100 intervention, 21/100 control). The intervention was dominant for patients aged >70 years and was $73 per additional screen for younger patients. It increased screening rates by about 6% and costs by $3 per patient. Conclusions: At willingness to pay of $100 or more per additional screening test, an automated telephone reminder intervention can be an optimal use of resources.

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    ABSTRACT: Rates of breast cancer (BC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening are particularly low among poor and minority patients. Multifaceted interventions have been shown to improve cancer-screening rates, yet the relative impact of the specific components of these interventions has not been assessed. Identifying the specific components necessary to improve cancer-screening rates is critical to tailor interventions in resource limited environments. To assess the relative impact of various components of the reminder, recall, and outreach (RRO) model on BC and CRC screening rates within a safety net practice. Pragmatic randomized trial. Men and women aged 50-74 years past due for CRC screen and women aged 40-74 years past due for BC screening. We randomized 1,008 patients to one of four groups: (1) reminder letter; (2) letter and automated telephone message (Letter + Autodial); (3) letter, automated telephone message, and point of service prompt (Letter + Autodial + Prompt); or (4) letter and personal telephone call (Letter + Personal Call). Documentation of mammography or colorectal cancer screening at 52 weeks following randomization. Compared to a reminder letter alone, Letter + Personal Call was more effective at improving screening rates for BC (17.8 % vs. 27.5 %; AOR 2.2, 95 % CI 1.2-4.0) and CRC screening (12.2 % vs. 21.5 %; AOR 2.0, 95 % CI 1.1-3.9). Compared to letter alone, a Letter + Autodial + Prompt was also more effective at improving rates of BC screening (17.8 % vs. 28.2 %; AOR 2.1, 95 % CI 1.1-3.7) and CRC screening (12.2 % vs. 19.6 %; AOR 1.9, 95 % CI 1.0-3.7). Letter + Autodial was not more effective than a letter alone at improving screening rates. The addition of a personal telephone call or a patient-specific provider prompt were both more effective at improving mammogram and CRC screening rates compared to a reminder letter alone. The use of automated telephone calls, however, did not provide any incremental benefit to a reminder letter alone.
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