Grants increase CRC screening rates at federal health centers

A study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined the impact grant funding had on colorectal cancer screening rates at federally qualified health centers.

Kara Riehman, PhD, of Atlanta-based American Cancer Society, and colleagues analyzed colorectal cancer screening rates at 77 grant-funded federally qualified health centers and compared them to rates at 77 non-funded federally qualified health centers between 2013 and 2015.

Genetic matching resulted in good-quality samples at both sets of facilities, which resulted in increased screening rates overall.

Grants increased colorectal cancer screening rates over non-funded centers. Between 2013 and 2014, federally qualified health centers increased screenings by 9 percent, while non-funded health centers only increased screenings by 3 percent. Over three years, grant-supported centers increased screenings by 12 percent, while non-funded centers increased screenings by 9 percent.

Researchers concluded, "The findings suggest grant funding was effective in promoting improvements in colorectal cancer screening rates in funded federally qualified health centers, and these improvements exceed those of non funded federally qualified health centers. Funding that results in targeted, intensive efforts supported by technical assistance and accountability for data and reporting, can result in improved system policies and practices that, in turn, can increase screening rates among uninsured and underserved populations."

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