“Colorectal cancer is treatable and preventable, especially if it’s detected early, which is why educating customers about screening is so important,” said Scott Josephs, M.D., Cigna national medical officer. “While colonoscopy is the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening, many people may prefer the InSure® FIT™ screening test. It’s easy to complete, and it’s convenient because it can be taken at home. We urge all of our customers to discuss colorectal cancer screening with their physician to identify the most appropriate option. We’re pleased to see screening rates going up in response to our outreach program, and we hope they’ll go up even more this year due to the enhanced outreach. More people getting screened means more lives that potentially can be saved.”Last March, Cigna's national colorectal cancer screening program reached nearly 542,000 customers. After six months, Cigna reviewed claims data, which showed that nearly 31,000 of the targeted individuals had a screening. That’s a screening rate of 5.7 percent, compared to 4.4 percent in 2010, which is statistically significant. (2011 rates were not used as a comparison due to different selection criteria.) Cigna's claims data shows that colonoscopies had the higher screening rate, at 57 percent of all screenings last year, while the InSure® FIT™ and the FOBT accounted for 43 percent of all screenings. Fifty percent of the colonoscopies had normal findings, while 48.8 percent detected polyps that were removed, and 1.2 percent resulted in a diagnosis of colon cancer. Detecting and removing polyps is important because polyps can become cancerous. Since Cigna launched the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, the company has partnered with clients to encourage their employees to get screened for colon cancer. For example, in 2012 Cigna worked with supermarket operator Harris Teeter to develop a co-branded, targeted campaign that included e-cards and a newsletter article. As a result of the campaign, Harris Teeter employees and beneficiaries had a screening rate of 20.6 percent, nearly four times the Cigna national average.
"Increasing completion rates for cancer screenings was one of our health promotion goals for 2012,” said Terri Priore, vice president of Benefits and Administration for Harris Teeter. “These outstanding results show that working collaboratively with Cigna to develop health improvement messages and targeting them appropriately can affect an individual’s decision to get a potentially life-saving screening.”Cigna customers who receive program information by mail also receive guidance about what to do if they have specific colorectal cancer symptoms, such as a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding or abdominal pain, which could require a complete evaluation by a physician. Confidential InSure® FIT™ results are mailed to individuals, who are encouraged to share positive or negative results with their primary care physician so that an appropriate follow-up screening plan may be developed. About Cigna Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 78 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com. 1 American Cancer Society website, Key Statistics About Colorectal Cancer.