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What we learned: Provider Forum on cervical cancer screening

Riyad Fares, M.D., LHP Medical Director

About two weeks ago, the LHP team went to Mt. Hood Women’s Health in Gresham to hold our second Advisory Forum on the topic of cervical cancer screening. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer after breast, lung, and colon cancer, and pap smear testing is a foundational component of preventive health care. In our 2015 LHP pilot, we were surprised that our performance for cervical cancer screening was 69.4%, about 6% below the national benchmark of 75% that our network set out to achieve. 

Why didn’t we meet the benchmark? Our preliminary analysis of our internal data suggests several contributing variables:
  1. We have a significant population of women over 30 years old who are unattributed to primary care providers or gynecologists. 
  2. Primary care providers are not screening patients as often as gynecologists. 
  3. Our data is insurance claims based and does not reflect real-time clinical data.

LHP is dedicated to empowering our providers to deliver high quality care. If you are a gynecologist or a primary care provider, here are some actions you can take to help our network achieve our cervical cancer screening goals.
  1. Run your own internal numbers. Are you meeting the LHP benchmark of 75%? Cervical cancer screening is potentially performed on different intervals if you are younger or older than 30 years old. Is there screening variability with age for your patient panel? 
  2. Is your practice in a position to accept new patients? Expect our Field Operations Advisers to ask you this question in the next few months. 
  3. Engage in LHP’s cancer screening data process. Your contribution of real-time clinical data to supplement our network claims data will improve LHP’s screening rate accuracy. If you are a practice administrator and are unsure how to access and complete the cancer screening data process, your Field Operations Adviser will be happy to assist you.

Thank you to the representatives from the following clinics who participated in the forum: Cascade Women's Health, Gresham Women's Healthcare, Legacy Gynecology/Oncology, Mt. Hood Women's Health, Mountain View Family Practice, Northwest Women's Clinic and Women's Healthcare Associates. 

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