Given the uncertain cost of delivering community-based cancer screening programs, we developed a Markov simulation model to project the budget impact of implementing a comprehensive colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention program compared with the status quo.
The study modeled the impacts on the costs of clinical services, materials, and staff expenditures for recruitment, education, fecal immunochemical testing (FIT), colonoscopy, follow-up, navigation, and initial treatment. We used data from the Against Colorectal Cancer In Our Neighborhoods comprehensive CRC prevention program implemented in El Paso, Texas, since 2012. We projected the 3-year financial consequences of the presence and absence of the CRC prevention program for a hypothetical population cohort of 10,000 Hispanic medically underserved individuals.
The intervention cohort experienced a 23.4% higher test completion rate for CRC prevention, 8 additional CRC diagnoses, and 84 adenomas. The incremental 3-year cost was $1.74 million compared with the status quo. The program cost per person was $261 compared with $86 for the status quo. The costs were sensitive to the proportion of high-risk participants and the frequency of colonoscopy screening and diagnostic procedures.
The budget impact mainly derived from colonoscopy-related costs incurred for the high-risk group. The effectiveness of FIT to detect CRC was critically dependent on follow-up after positive FIT. Community cancer prevention programs need reliable estimates of the cost of CRC screening promotion and the added budget impact of screening with colonoscopy.
Bumyang Kim David R. Lairson Tong Han Chung Junghyun Kim Navkiran K. Shokar