According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most healthy adults should have their cholesterol levels checked about every four to six years [1]. Progress is being made in the United States to control high cholesterol levels, with about two-thirds of adults reporting that they have had their cholesterol checked within the last five years [2]. However, many people have never checked their cholesterol and do not know whether they are at risk since high cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms.

LetsGetChecked’s Cholesterol Test can help health plans increase member engagement with cholesterol testing by meeting members where they are and making testing more accessible. As the COVID-19 pandemic also caused disruptions in access to preventive screenings such as cholesterol testing, at-home tests can aid in rebounding screening rates to prevent delayed diagnoses and poor health consequences. With at-home cholesterol tests, members can receive insight into their cholesterol levels and monitor their heart health.


The decline in cholesterol testing during the COVID-19 pandemic


Although the rate of people who have received cholesterol testing within the past five years has increased, testing declined during the COVID-19 pandemic due to reductions in outpatient medical care and routine preventive screenings. This reduction in the number of people receiving cholesterol testing raises concerns about providing patients with proper preventive care. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers found an overall cholesterol testing decline of 39.2% from 2019 to 2020 [3]. The greatest reduction in cholesterol testing rates occurred from March to May 2020, during which there was up to a 92% weekly reduction from the same period in 2019.

Although weekly cholesterol testing returned to a normal rate by August 2020, there is a concerning implication that important aspects of preventive care were neglected during the pandemic. As cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. and managing cholesterol is a critical component of preventing cardiovascular disease, it is crucial for health plans to improve member access and engagement with cholesterol screening. Fortunately, at-home testing can help patients get caught up and receive the preventive care they need.


Increase access to cholesterol testing with at-home testing


Although knowing your cholesterol level is a critical health factor, about 71% of Americans are unsure of or do not know their LDL-C, or bad cholesterol levels [4]. Since high levels of bad cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke, knowing one’s levels is crucial. According to the CDC, about one in three adults in the United States have high cholesterol levels [5]. Unfortunately, many people with high cholesterol often do not know it because there are usually no immediate symptoms.

At-home testing can help members monitor their cholesterol levels and take action to keep them at a healthy level. By meeting members where they are, at-home cholesterol tests can increase screening engagement and help rebound testing rates that fell during the pandemic. Without the need for on-site appointments, home cholesterol tests can make accessing quality preventive care easier and help members overcome barriers to screening engagement.


How LetsGetChecked’s at-home cholesterol test can increase member screening engagement


About 80% of deaths from premature heart disease and stroke are preventable [6]. Regular at-home testing can provide members with the health insights they need to track their cholesterol over time, make appropriate lifestyle changes, and help prevent heart disease. LetsGetChecked’s easy and convenient at-home Cholesterol Test can help members understand and monitor their heart health by testing total triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and HDL % of total cholesterol.

Our at-home Cholesterol Test removes traditional barriers to engagement such as time, location, and transportation by allowing members to engage in screening from the comfort of their homes. Tests can be delivered directly to members’ homes, where they can easily collect their samples before mailing them to our CLIA approved and CAP-accredited laboratory. We have partnered with some of the top health plans in the country to close gaps in care, drive higher engagement, and produce better health outcomes. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions or sign up for our monthly newsletter to get curated insights from our team of experts, event invitations, and industry news you can use.


References


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/cholesterol_screening.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33778798/
  4. https://www.lipid.org/nla/new-results-cholesterol-counts-show-most-americans-polled-do-not-know-their-bad-cholesterol-ldl
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/index.htm
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/t0906-vital-signs-preventing-heart-attacks-strokes.html