Important Care Messages
Below are two important changes regarding care of your patients – one regarding a new, non-invasive colon cancer screening test and a second that describes new guidelines regarding hypertension.
Utilizing Cologuard for Your Patients
Cologuard, DNA-based CRC screening test, is now ready for ordering through Epic. In addition to hemoglobin, Cologuard detects 10 different biomarkers that are continuously shed into stool (precancer and cancer may bleed intermittently). Cologuard, intended for patients age 50 years and older at average risk for CRC, satisfies HEDIS measure with 3-year screening interval. It is covered by traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
The Cologuard order is available to all HFPN ambulatory physicians using Epic.
You must place the Cologuard order in Epic. This order is automatically faxed to Exact Science, the owner of Cologuard. To learn more about how the testing kit reaches your patient and how you receive the results, please go to the HFPN Members page under Memos and Additional Information to review the Cologuard Tip Sheet and a detailed PowerPoint that will likely answer all of your questions.
If you have questions about Cologuard, please contact HFPN Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Muma.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have changed the guidelines for the detection, prevention, management and treatment of high blood pressure – the first set of new guidelines since 2003 – with interventions beginning at 130/80 mm Hg rather than 140/90.
These new guidelines encompass nearly half of the U.S. adult population (46%) as having high blood pressure. Lowering the numbers now casts the net to include younger people, with the prevalence of high blood pressure expected to triple among men under the age of 45 and double among women in the same age group.
Blood pressure categories in the new guideline are:
- Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg;
- Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80;
- Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89;
- Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg;
- Hypertensive crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage.
To learn more about these new guidelines, read the full ACC report/article.