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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT CRCS Saves Lives and You Can Help


T


he evidence is clear: effective colorectal cancer screening (CRCS) prevents colon cancer and lowers the risk of death due to CRC. For more on this topic, listen to


Richard Wender, MD, at www.ascassociation.org/wender. In 2016, the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) set a goal to screen 80 percent of the US population in 2018 (for more, see www.nccrt.org/tools/80- percent-by-2018). Many ASCA member ASCs may be well-positioned to help the NCCRT achieve that screening initiative in the near future. In 2013, the NCCRT convened more than 21 stakeholders, including ASCA, for the purpose of increasing CRCS opportunities for underserved patients. The participants explored many of the barriers to effective screening programs, including patient resistance, cost, access, adherence, care coordination and continuity of care for a cancer diagnosis. Various successful CRCS screening programs from across the US were reviewed to identify best practices for overcoming barriers and to explore strategies for engaging the support of multiple stakeholders. Presentations from high-performing systems indicate that successful programs often share similar features that contribute to their ability to obtain volunteer support from providers and hospitals, overcome patient barriers and gain efficiencies that save time and money. High performers pay significant attention to patient navigation and care coordination, resulting in very low no-show rates, improved bowel preparation and better clinical outcomes. Many of these programs provide a neutral organizing body to negotiate commitments from physicians, ASCs and hospitals/health systems, and to standardize protocols and manage referral volume. Neutral partners are typically nonprofits funded through donations, foundation funding or grant funding, or through a government grant. Participants, including ASCA, in the NCCRT links of care initiative agreed upon a draft vision statement and affirmed their respective organization’s support in reducing disparities in care.


Correction


ASCAPAC inadvertently left out the name of a sponsor in the February issue of this magazine and regrets the error. ASCAPAC would like to recognize the Centennial Surgery Center in Voorhees, New Jersey, as a 2016 Gold Sponsor. Thank you for your continued and generous support of the future of the ASC community.


Seeking Authors


ASC Focus is seeking the contribution of articles by guest authors. If you have the expertise and time to write for us, we’d be interested in hearing from you.


Please see our editorial guidelines at www.ascassociation.org/Focus and submit your story proposal to smukerji@ascassociation.org.


6 ASC FOCUS MARCH 2017


Three CRCS pilots emerged for three federally qualified health center (FQHC) patient populations in St. Paul, Minnesota, New Haven, Connecticut, and Low Country, South Carolina. In these pilots, colonoscopy is being provided at no out-of-pocket cost for FQHC patients who have a positive fecal occult blood test. Multiple stakeholders, including ASCs, are working closely with the NCCRT and the American Cancer Society to develop best practices and models for expansion to other US communities of underserved patient populations. Soon these CRCS programs might expand to your community providing your ASC with the opportunity to support the ambitious “80% by 2018” NCCRT goal. As an important stakeholder, ASCA might be asked to connect member ASCs with regional FQHCs or other programs providing health care for the underserved. I hope you will welcome our call and accept the opportunity to further reduce the preventable tragedy of colorectal cancer. I also encourage you to remain alert for other CRCS opportunities in your community.


Rebecca Craig, RN, CASC President of ASCA’s Board of Directors


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