Independence Blue Cross and Labcorp are collaborating to provide home specimen collection kits that Medicare Advantage members with diabetes can use to monitor blood sugar levels and screen for colon cancer and kidney disease.
The companies will offer these kits to promote chronic disease prevention and management by enabling patients to conveniently keep track of their conditions.
“Many healthcare services can be delivered through telemedicine, but there are times when physical screenings are necessary to identify conditions in their early stages and that’s where these home collection kits come in,” Dr. Heidi Syropoulos, medical director for government markets at Independence Blue Cross, said in a news release. Independence Blue Cross operates in Philadelphia and the four suburban counties that surround the city.
Independence Blue Cross and Labcorp seek to improve health outcomes and reduce costs for at-risk Medicare Advantage enrollees, and for those not comfortable with in-person visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labcorp’s home collection kits will include several tests, including an HbA1c test used to monitor blood sugar levels, an occult blood, fecal, immunoassay test to screen for colorectal cancer and diagnose other conditions that cause bleeding in the digestive tract, and an urine albumin test to screen for early kidney disease in people with risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
The kits come at no cost to patients, who need doctors’ orders to get them. Patients will receive kits in the mail and send them back to have their samples tested. After Labcorp processes the tests, they will provide the results to patients’ physicians, who will explain the findings to the patients.
“Home collections make it easier for patients throughout Philadelphia, and the country, to receive safe, convenient testing that may be critical to their overall health and wellbeing,” Dr. Deborah Sesok-Pizzini, chief medical officer of Labcorp Diagnostics, said in a news release. “Labcorp and Independence are building on our already strong foundation to provide one more option to help physicians make confident testing and treatment decisions.”