What’s the Difference Between Cologuard and FIT Kits?

  • March 4, 2021

    Two of the leading tests on the market for at-home colon cancer screening are Cologuard (DNA fecal immunochemical test or FIT) and standard FIT kits.

    What’s the difference between Cologuard and FIT kits?

      Cologuard FIT kits
    Market Cost $649.00 $30.00
    Cost to Premera members Upward of $200.00 depending on the member’s health plan $0.00 (few members pay an out-of-pocket cost of $30.00 when the FIT kit isn’t part of a preventive screening)
    Every 3 years Every 3 years Annually
    Results Colon cancer screening plus a patented DNA test that screens for DNA markers that may indicate colon cancer Colon cancer screening
    Next step for positive result Preventive colonoscopy screening Preventive colonoscopy screening

    Why is Cologuard more expensive for Premera members?

    Premera pays for a large cost share of the Cologuard test, however Exact Sciences Laboratories, the only company that offers the Cologuard test, balance bills our members for about $200, depending on the member’s health plan.

    Is Cologuard more accurate than a traditional FIT Kit?

    No. Cologuard includes a patented DNA test unique to the market. However, Cologuard often results in false positives for abnormal DNA markers that aren’t explained by subsequent colonoscopy findings. False positives that aren’t explained by colonoscopy findings may generate unnecessary ongoing surveillance or anxiety for patients.

    FIT and FOBT tests are accurate and cost-effective at-home screening options

    The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and fecal immunochemical test (FIT) are both recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for at-home colon cancer screenings. Although these tests are recommended annually, the total cost of annual FIT/FOBT tests remains less expensive than a single Cologuard test every 3 years. You can discuss both options with your patients.

    We encourage you to support colon cancer prevention and keep cost information in mind when recommending at-home colon cancer screening to your patients.

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