ORANGE, Calif. (December 5, 2022) — CalOptima Health announced a five-year, $50.1 million Comprehensive Community Cancer Screening and Support Program designed to achieve the lowest incidence rate nationwide for late-stage breast, cervical, colon and certain lung cancers. This is the single largest investment in a disease prevention program in the health plan’s history.
“With rare exception, no one should die from breast, cervical or colon cancer, and many heavy smokers should not die from lung cancer,” said Richard Pitts, D.O., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer. “CalOptima Health will be creative and relentless in going after these four specific cancers that are relatively easy to detect and are treatable when found in the early stages. This is our Orange County cancer moonshot.”
The five-year program will be phased in, spending $10 million a year on the following activities:
- Increasing community and member awareness and engagement
- Increasing access to cancer screening
- Improving member experience throughout cancer treatment
“Equitable access to quality cancer care for Medi-Cal members is nonnegotiable, and Orange County is fortunate to have outstanding resources for cancer prevention and treatment,” said Michael Hunn, Chief Executive Officer. “CalOptima Health intends to leverage key cancer centers and activate community opinion leaders to the point where cancer detection is part of our community’s daily discussions.”
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted cancer screening rates, leading to a reduction in early detection and treatment, particularly among those affected by the social determinants of health. The focused effort of the Comprehensive Community Cancer Screening and Support Program will reverse that trend to ultimately increase life expectancy and quality of life while also reducing health care costs.
About CalOptima Health
A county-organized health system, CalOptima Health provides publicly funded health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities in Orange County, California. CalOptima Health’s mission is to serve member health with excellence and dignity, respecting the value and needs of each person. CalOptima Health serves more than 937,000 members with a network of nearly 10,700 primary care doctors and specialists and 45 acute and rehab hospitals.