The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners Annual Meeting (AANP 2019) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Clinical Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading nurse practitioners. Check back for the latest news from AANP 2019.


Nurse practitioners (NPs) represent an increasing percentage of providers who order the multi-target stool DNA (mt-sDNA) test, which has the potential to increase population-level colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates, according to research presented at the 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Annual Meeting, held June 18 to 23 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Researchers identified NPs through the National Plan and Enumeration System based on national provider identifier records; data were extracted from August 2014 to December 2018 to evaluate the percentage of prescribing NPs among other healthcare providers (HCPs), the number of successfully completed mt-sDNA tests ordered by NPs, and the characteristics of patients prescribed the mt-sDNA test by NPs.

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NP test orders rose from 5.0% of all orders placed in 2014 to 12.8% in 2018; the largest percentage increase occurred from 2015 to 2016, during which time the number of NPs ordering the mt-sDNA increased from 2520 to 6651 (163.91% increase). The percentage of HCPs prescribing the mt-sDNA test who were NPs increased year-over-year; in 2018, 17.7% of HCPs prescribing the mt-sDNA test were NPs compared with 9.8% in 2015.

In 2018, the average age of patients undergoing testing with mt-sDNA by NPs was 62.3 years; 46.1% of all orders placed by NPs were for patients covered by Medicare.

NPs have collectively ordered 203,509 completed mt-sDNA tests since 2014, incorporating 10.9% of completed test results. In 2018 alone, NPs ordered 112,963 tests, representing 12.1% of completed tests.

“…these data confirm the growing role of NPs in ordering the mt-sDNA test for average-risk patients aged[d] 50 and older who are eligible for CRC screening,” the authors concluded.

Disclosure: All study authors are or have been employees of EXACT Sciences Corporation, or have served in an advisory capacity for the company.

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Mlinarevich N, Powe BD, Parks P, et al. The role of nurse practitioners in improving colorectal cancer screening rates with the noninvasive, home-based multi-target stool DNA test. Presented at: The 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Annual Meeting; June 18-23, 2019; Indianapolis, IN.  Poster 53.