Nebraska Physicians Cancer Screening Initiative

Cancer Screening Project

Initiative a Collaborative Effort

The Nebraska Physicians Cancer Screening Initiative is physician-led initiative to bring additional public awareness to the importance of health screening.  Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln (PHL) is leading the project, which draws on PHL President Dr. Bob Rauner’s prior expertise in medical education and clinic-based quality improvement.

Dr. Rauner and Lincoln physicians, Mike Rapp, and Brandon Webb developed the initiative and through their efforts, 32 primary care clinics representing more than 179 primary care providers have already joined the effort including physician members of The Physician Network, OneHealth Nebraska, SERPA ACO, Bryan Health Connect, the Lincoln Family Medicine Program, and Bluestem Health Center. 

The cancer screening initiative works to save lives through early detection of breast and colon cancers, catching them in their earlier, more treatable forms.  Participating primary care clinics encourage and promote screening among their patients through outreach and in office consultation.  Each launched systematic efforts within their clinics including using every visit to verify cancer screening status and reaching out to patients who haven’t been seen in a year or more to remind them of the need for screening.  Taking this proactive approach has measurably increased the number of people who have been screened since the project began.

The initiative is in alignment with the American Cancer Society and University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health target of increasing the number of Nebraskans who are adequately screened for these cancers to “80% by 2018”. 

Drs. Rauner, Rapp, and Webb say they were inspired to create this project because Nebraska has a higher number of colon cancer cases than other states, yet lags behind in screening.  Said Dr.  Rauner, when the initiative was launched, “By aligning the majority of primary care clinics in Lincoln around this project, we hope to be the first community in Nebraska to reach the 80% by 2018 target.”  While the project began as a Lincoln initiative, it now also includes providers in Grand Island, Omaha, Nebraska City, Gering, Columbus, and Norfolk.  To date, nearly all the participating practices are reporting significant colorectal cancer screening rate increases, with four clinics already reaching or surpassing the 80% screening rate goal, and many others close to reaching the goal.

The project is being funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, the COPIC Foundation, and the Nebraska Medical Foundation.

Complementing the Initiative is a consumer oriented cancer screening education effort led by Lancaster Crusade Against Cancer. The local coalition is focusing on getting the message out about the importance of cancer screening.  More information.     Resource links