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Eval Program Plann. 2011 May;34(2):147-53. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2010.09.005. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Clinical and programmatic costs of implementing colorectal cancer screening: evaluation of five programs.

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  • 1RTI International, 1440 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451-1623, United States.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated the Colorectal Cancer Screening Demonstration Program (CRCSDP) in 2005 to explore the feasibility of establishing a colorectal cancer screening program for underserved US populations. We provide a detailed overview of the evaluation and an assessment of the costs incurred during the service delivery (screening) phase of the program.


Tailored cost questionnaires were completed by staff at the five CRCSDP sites for the first 2 years of the program. We collected cost data for clinical and programmatic activities (program management, data collection and tracking, etc.). We also measured in-kind contributions and assigned values to them.


During the first 2 years of the demonstration excluding the start-up cost, the average cost per person was $2569. Per person cost of clinical services alone ranged from $264 to $1385, while per person programmatic costs ranged from $545 to $3017.


Colorectal cancer screening programs can incur substantial costs for some non-clinical activities, such as data collection/tracking, and these support activities should be managed carefully to control costs and ensure successful program implementation. Our findings highlight the importance of performing economic evaluation to guide the design of future colorectal cancer screening programs.

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