The Covid-19 pandemic caused a great deal of disruption to healthcare treatments for patients. While the situation is now returning to normal, many people are still hesitant to visit their physician or clinic for check-ups and tests.
Screenings for conditions such as colon cancer and diabetes are still well below what they were before the pandemic.
Because of this, healthcare insurance companies and providers have been making efforts to encourage people to undergo screenings for several different illnesses, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and diabetes. The diabetes evaluations include eye exams, nephropathy assessment, and HbA1c control.
A Clinical Service Center
For example, as the pandemic continued, Arkansas Blue Cross set up a clinical service center in collaboration with a team of pharmacists, technicians, and other healthcare professionals to contact people by telephone and encourage them to undergo screenings for cancer and diabetes. They are now also enlisting community pharmacists in the effort.
The healthcare team personnel can see what screenings Blue Cross members are missing and make suggestions specific to their situation. The healthcare team assists patients throughout the process of scheduling and the screening itself..
People who need to have a colorectal screening choose to use a screening kit for home use or visiting a medical center. If they use the kit, they would then mail in the materials generated from using it to get the results.
Each kit includes a letter from the person’s health plan explaining why the kit was sent and specific instructions with pictures explaining what the person needs to do to provide the materials needed to complete the test.
The team also has created a comprehensive outreach program for use over the telephone for members who had let their regular screenings for diabetes lapse during the pandemic. The program is designed to cover all the various screenings that diabetics need to get.
Team members discuss the importance of each type of screening — eye exams, nephropathy assessment, and HbA1c control – with the member. The healthcare team also talks to members about statin medications if they feel the patient would benefit from taking statins.
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