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Highlights from our World Health Care Congress Panel Appearance

Exact Sciences Senior Contact Center Manager Lisa Bethke (second from left) and co-panelists at the 13th Annual World Health Care Congress

One of the main challenges Exact Sciences continues to face as it moves further and further into the launch of Cologuard is a very large pool of patients with a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.

Indeed, reaching patients of varying backgrounds is a struggle for many U.S. health care companies, which is one of the reasons this week's World Health Care Congress featured a panel on that very topic.

Exact Sciences Senior Contact Center Manager Lisa Bethke served as one of four members of the panel, entitled Identify and Address Socioeconomic Barriers to Care Throughout the Member Lifecycle, which took place Tuesday morning.

In her everyday role as the leader of Exact Sciences' dedicated Cologuard Customer Care Center, Bethke manages the team of professionals that help patients and their healthcare providers use and complete the Cologuard test from the privacy of their own homes.

Exact Sciences' decision to make Cologuard an at-home kit was a topic of conversation among the panelists.

"At-home kits can make important tests available to patients who might not otherwise be able to get them," Bethke said.

The panelists later identified another barrier to health care among socioeconomically disadvanged patient popultions: literacy.

As panelist Ralph Perfetto, Jr., Ph.D., Chief Analytics Officer at Eliza Corporation, indicated during the panel, current estimates indicate about 14% of adults in the US have less than basic health literacy, meaning they do not have the ability to "obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions."

To help patients with low levels of health literacy, Exact Sciences developed the Cologuard instructions for patients of all reading levels and language backgrounds.

Despite the obstacles identified by the panelists, Lisa and her team have helped Exact Sciences beat its goal of 70% Cologuard patient compliance.

"The biggest barriers we are identifying are the patients wanting to return the kits to us," Bethke said. "We've been able to overcome many objections, including fear."

Topics: Exact Sciences News

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