In-home Test Kits for Colorectal Cancer Screening

We’re working with Everlywell to provide in-home test kits this summer to certain Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) members who need a colorectal cancer screening. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our members may have delayed getting appropriate care. Everlywell is sending Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kits to certain Blue Preferred PPOSM and Blue Focus POSSM members at no charge.

As a trusted provider, you may want to encourage our members who are your patients to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about their health with a FIT kit. In 2021 we provided 2,524 FIT kits to BCBSMT members:

  • 493 members returned their kits and closed this gap in their care.
  • Test results were sent to the members and to their primary care physicians (PCPs). 25 kits were abnormal or positive, meaning the sample contained blood when collected.  

Why Use FIT

The U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce recognizes annual FIT testing for colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45.

  • FIT testing is appropriate screening for people with an average risk for colorectal cancer. Average risk means no family history of colorectal cancer, no personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, no previous polyps and no previous colorectal cancer.
  • When compared to stool DNA tests, FIT kits have fewer false positives, which reduces unnecessary colonoscopies, according to the National Cancer Institute. Unlike stool DNA tests like the Cologuard®, FIT kits require only a swab rather than a stool sample.

How In-Home Testing Works

The in-home testing process is quick and easy for members:

  • Everlywell sends the kits to a sample of eligible members who’ve been identified with a gap in care for colorectal cancer screening. Completing the kit is voluntary.
  • The kits don’t require fasting, dietary restrictions or preparation. Medications are taken according to members’ normal schedule.
  • Members complete the test kit at home, provide the name of their PCP and mail the test for processing to Everlywell by Dec. 31, 2022. An addressed, postage-paid envelope is included.
  • Everlywell sends results to the member and to their PCP in three to four weeks.

How You Can Help

  • Consider discussing the importance of colorectal cancer screening and healthy lifestyle choices with your patients. If one of your patients receives a kit and calls your office with questions, discuss their screening options.
  • Document any test results in your patient’s medical record and discuss the results with them.

Everlywell, formally Home Access Health Corporation, is an independent company that has contracted with BCBSMT to provide laboratory testing services for members with coverage through BCBSMT. BCBSMT makes no endorsement, representations or warranties regarding third-party vendors and the products and services offered by them.

The above material is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician or other health care provider. Physicians and other health care providers are encouraged to use their own medical judgment based upon all available information and the condition of the patient in determining the appropriate course of treatment.