Recent trends in colorectal cancer screening methods based on Medicare claims data

Curr Med Res Opin. 2021 Apr;37(4):605-607. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2021.1879754. Epub 2021 Feb 18.


Objective: Despite the availability of multiple screening modalities for early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC), participation rates remain well below guideline recommendation goals in the United States. This study analyzed and compared recent national trends in utilization of CRC screening modalities using Medicare claims data.

Method: Medicare claims data for CRC screening during 2014-2018 were aggregated and analyzed by CPT code frequency. Changes in CRC screening test frequencies during the analysis period were measured via generalized linear models and analysis of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs).

Results: Utilization of the mt-sDNA test increased significantly over time (from 2481 claims in 2014 to 335,455 claims in 2018; p < .001), in contrast to the other analyzed CRC screening tests. The CAGR was higher for mt-sDNA (166.81%) than for COL (0.52%), FOBT (-11.75%), and FIT (0.67%).

Conclusions: Utilization of the mt-sDNA test for average-risk CRC screening has increased rapidly since its approval in 2014. These data support growing patient and provider interest in the mt-sDNA test as a non-invasive option for average-risk CRC screening.

Keywords: Medicare; cancer screening; claims data; colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Medicare
  • United States / epidemiology