In response to low cancer screening rates in the United States, New York State’s Cancer Services Program (CSP) was created in an attempt to increase screening rates among the state’s residents. Previous research revealed that high cost was among people’s top reasons for not getting screened, and therefore, CSP was designed to offer free cancer screening and diagnostic testing to people without insurance – including screening and follow-up testing for colorectal cancer. The program worked at the local level by hiring contractors to deliver outreach and teaming up with local providers who agreed to conduct the screenings. By keeping the program local, developers believed they would be better equipped to meet community needs and improve screening rates. In addition to cost barriers, research also showed that a major barrier specific to colorectal cancer screenings was a fear of colonoscopies. To combat this, special outreach materials were designed to promote other available screening options that the target audience was previously unaware of. Additionally, the state worked with local employers to offer paid time off for employees to get screened, reducing barriers around time constraints. The program also aimed to increase screening rates by working directly with state partners, hosting webinars to promote screening options and other best practices. Since the start of the program in 2007, more than 60,000 adults without health insurance had been screened for colorectal cancer.
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