Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer[1].  African Americans have a higher number of cases and deaths from colon cancer[2]

Colon cancer screening tests can find precancerous polyps (growth that is not normal), so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer[3].  Unfortunately colon cancer screening rates are lowest among[4]:

  • Low-income individuals

  • Those without health insurance

  • Those with less education

  • Certain racial and ethnic populations

  • Those living in rural areas

Encourage those 50 years old or older to get screened now. Screening finds colon cancer early when treatment can be most effective. 

In addition to screening, here’s what else can be done to lower the risk of colon cancer3:   

  • Be physically active

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Don’t drink too much alcohol

  • Don’t smoke

CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign offers resources for patients and health professionals, including print materials (fact sheets, brochures, and posters) and television and radio public service announcements.

[1] "March Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 25 Feb. 2015. Accessed:  26 Feb. 2015.

[2] "Cancer Health Disparities." National Cancer Institute. National Institutes of Health, 11 Mar. 2008.  Accessed 26 Feb. 2015.

[3] "Basic Information About Colorectal Cancer." Colorectal (Colon) Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Feb. 2015. Accessed 26 Feb. 2015.

[4] Mendes, Elizabeth. "New Studies May Help Reduce Colon Cancer Screening Disparities." American Cancer Society, Inc., 7 Mar. 2014. Accessed 26 Feb. 2015.

Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment ended on December 7. If someone missed the Open Enrollment Period and is truly dissatisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan, there is a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) that lasts from January 1 to February 14 of the following year. A person in a Medicare Advantage Plan can leave their plan, switch to Original Medicare, and join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage during this period. Learn more about joining a health or drug plan.
There are specific times when a person can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or Medicare prescription drug coverage . They can also make changes to existing coverage:

1. If they first become eligible for Medicare or turn 65 during the Initial Enrollment Period
2. During certain yearly enrollment periods
3. Under certain circumstances that qualify the person for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

Learn more about the Medicare C & D enrollment periods and be sure to take advantage of everything Medicare has to offer.

[1] Understanding Medicare Part C & D Enrollment Periods. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Oct. 2012. Web. Dec. 2013.

BPHC released the new Governance PIN (  There will be multiple opportunities for training regarding the new PIN, including TA calls specific for consultants and for special populations.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released Policy Information Notice (PIN) 2013-01: Health Center Budgeting and Accounting Requirements. The PIN is available at: