(HealthDay News) — Sending a mailed reminder to promote colorectal cancer (CRC) screening with an included fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) kit is cost-saving for each additional Medicaid enrollee screened compared with just sending a reminder, according to a study published online July 20 in Cancer.

Stephanie B. Wheeler, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis of a randomized trial comparing the effectiveness of a reminder + FIT intervention versus a reminder-only intervention. Data were included for a cohort of 35,000 unscreened North Carolina Medicaid enrollees aged 52 to 64 years.

The researchers found that the anticipated number of CRC screenings was higher for the reminder + FIT versus the reminder-only intervention (23.2 versus 15.8 percent). The reminder + FIT alternative dominated the reminder-only alternative from the Medicaid/state perspective, with reduced costs and increased screening rates. From the health clinic/facility perspective, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $116 per person screened for the reminder + FIT versus the reminder-only alternative.

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“Our analyses in this setting demonstrate to health departments and Medicaid organizations that including an FIT kit with a mailed reminder is a good incremental investment of resources,” the authors write. “It is potentially cost saving, depending on the payer, relative to a mailed reminder alone.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.

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