Colonial Healthcare Implements Clinical Research as a Care Option with Clinical Trials Access Network

Colonial Healthcare is a 30+ provider community primary care medical group with diagnostic services and specialists, serving a diverse patient population in the South Carolina midlands. The organization wanted to expand its offering of the latest treatment options and diagnostics and in using Change Healthcare’s Clinical Trials Access Network, they addressed this challenge, resulting in efficient and precise patient matching to trials, additional revenue opportunity for providers, and a positive patient and provider experience.


Colonial Healthcare


  • Less than 3% of patients participate in clinical trials in the United States, generally due to a lack of awareness by the patient and their treating provider of advanced treatment options available through a trial for which the patient may be eligible.1
  • 85% of eligible patients are seen in community care settings and are not prescreened for a study.1


Clinical Trials Access Network


With digital pre-screening of patients for accessible trials, a simple workflow to coordinate referrals, and a role for providers as a trusted guide during the patient consultation regarding treatment or diagnostic options, the following results were achieved:

  • 72% of patients who were a match for a trial and were contacted by their provider agreed to trial screening. 
  • 42% of clinical trial participants were African American, which aligns with the population in the community that the provider serves. 
  • On average, African Americans make up less than 5% of clinical trial participation (and are 14% of the U.S. population), yet their treating physician was able to provide access to a proportionate percentage of the patients they serve.
  • Twenty business days for data access/patient matching to trial to achieve first patient referral to trial.

The Customer:

Colonial Healthcare is an independent, multi-specialty medical group with practice locations throughout South Carolina. 

The Challenge: Creating Clean Claims

Colonial Healthcare had little to no experience conducting clinical research or working with patients to participate in clinical trials. It was eager to engage and offer patients additional treatment options but didn’t know how to get started.

Dr. Christopher Mahr, a primary care physician at Colonial, affirmed that “clinical research is absolutely necessary and the only way we are going to get new technologies brought to market. It’s kind of the responsibility of all of us … physicians, patients, everybody.” 


Clinical research is absolutely necessary and the only way we are going to get new technologies brought to market. It’s kind of the responsibility of all of us ... physicians, patients, everybody."

-  Dr. Christopher Mahr Family Medicine

Colonial Healthcare

The Solution: Change Healthcare’s Clinical Trials Access Network

Colonial Healthcare agreed to participate in a colon cancer screening study offered through Change Healthcare’s Clinical Trials Access Network. The study was run remotely by a partner— Science 37, a decentralized clinical trials company—looking to Change Healthcare’s platform as an opt-in network for all treating healthcare providers. The platform offers a streamlined process for identifying qualified patients and referring them to trials. This is made possible through an advanced patient-matching engine that identifies potentially eligible patients and matches them to available trials through digital screening of medical records.

Tim Seibert, Science 37’s senior director of Global Healthcare Partnerships, commented: “Change Healthcare’s national population coverage coupled with Science 37’s operating system— which enables decentralized and hybrid clinical trials—delivers an unparalleled national feasibility opportunity for patients traditionally excluded from clinical trials. Together, both organizations work to accelerate and improve patient enrollment.”

The Results

Using the tool at its medical group, Colonial Healthcare easily reviewed, contacted, and consulted more than 200 patients matching the study protocol criteria. Of all patients contacted by the practice’s medical assistant, 72% of patients agreed to do additional screening for the trial.

While Colonial Healthcare received compensation for time spent consulting with patients and generating additional revenue for the practice, an additional benefit was increased patient satisfaction.

Dr. Mahr reflected on this experience and the evolution of the clinical trials model as a whole: “Back then, we used paper charts and would walk the halls of the hospital trying to find patients who met the trial criteria … it was very labor intensive, patient outcomes weren’t great, and there was poor matriculation into the study. Now, it’s been very streamlined.”

Closing the gaps between clinical practice and research through better use of data helps advance medical progress and accelerates the delivery of more personalized care to improve health outcomes.

A Solution Designed to Help Providers

Clinical Trials Access Network offers patients, their treating physicians, and those sponsoring and conducting clinical trials increased patient access to additional treatment options and diversity in clinical trials through precise matching capabilities.

  • Ensure providers are aware and informed of new and innovative clinical trials, regardless of care setting or location. 
  • Help providers earn community recognition for offering advanced treatment. 
  • Provide additional revenue to physicians and ACOs who consult with eligible patients about accessible clinical trials. 
  • Increase diverse patient enrollment in clinical trials. 
  • Help improve patient outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, and lower overall patient care cost.

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