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Balancing Adherence and Expense: The Cost-Effectiveness of Two-Sample vs One-Sample Fecal Immunochemical Test

Colorectal cancer (CRC) causes more than 50,000 deaths each year in the United States but early detection through screening yields survival gains; those diagnosed with early stage disease have a 5-year survival greater than 90%, compared to 12% for those diagnosed with late stage disease. Using data from a large integrated health system, this study evaluates the cost-effectiveness of fecal immunochemical testing (FIT), a common CRC screening tool. A probabilistic decision-analytic model was used to examine the costs and outcomes of positive test results from a 1-FIT regimen compared with a 2-FIT regimen. The authors compared 5 diagnostic cutoffs of hemoglobin concentration for each test (for a total of 10 screening options). The principal outcome from the analysis was the cost per additional advanced neoplasia (AN) detected. The authors also estimated the number of cancers detected and life-years gained from detecting AN. The following costs were included: program management of the screening program, patient identification, FIT kits and their processing, and diagnostic colonoscopy following a positive FIT. Per-person costs ranged from $33 (1-FIT at 150ng/ml) to $92 (2-FIT at 50ng/ml) across screening options. Depending on willingness to pay, the 1-FIT 50 ng/ml and the 2-FIT 50 ng/ml are the dominant strategies with cost-effectiveness of $11,198 and $28,389, respectively, for an additional AN detected. The estimates of cancers avoided per 1000 screens ranged from 1.46 to 4.86, depending on the strategy and the assumptions of AN to cancer progression.

Authors: Smith DH; O'Keeffe Rosetti M; Mosen DM; Rosales AG; Keast E; Perrin N; Feldstein AC; Levin TR; Liles EG

Popul Health Manag. 2019 02;22(1):83-89. Epub 2018-06-21.

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