Evaluation of Colorectal Cancer Screening in Federally Qualified Health Centers

Published:November 30, 2017DOI:


      Screening for colorectal cancer in average-risk adults is recommended beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years. This study was conducted to provide evidence for the effectiveness of an American Cancer Society grant program promoting colorectal cancer screening by implementing evidence-based interventions proven to increase screening rates.


      Analysis compared colorectal cancer screening rates in 77 grant-funded federally qualified health centers between 2013 and 2015 to those of a sample of 77 nonfunded federally qualified health centers selected using a genetic matching technique. The Uniform Data System from 2013 to 2015 provided data used in the analysis performed in 2016.


      Funded grantees differed significantly from nongrantees on several indicators at baseline. Genetic matching resulted in good-quality matched samples. Both matched samples increased colorectal cancer screening rates over time. Grantees increased their colorectal cancer screening rates significantly more than nongrantees, especially between 2013 and 2014, where funded federally qualified health centers increased by 9% and nonfunded federally qualified health centers increased by 3%. Across the 3 years, increases were 12% and 9%, respectively.


      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 nonfunded 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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