Colorectal Cancer Briefs: PSA Contest,Medicare Co-Pays, NCI Bethesda Clinical Trials


  • The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada is sponsoring a contest for print and video ads that raise awareness of colorectal cancer.
  • Clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD are an option for cutting-edge treatment at no cost.
  • When co-pays are raised for Medicare, the elderly make fewer outpatient visits but are hospitalized more often and stay in the hospital longer.

Raise CRC awareness with an ad or video and win!

Your print or video public service announcement to raise awareness of colorectal cancer and its prevention could be a winner.

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada will award $2,500 for the best video and $1,000 for the best print ad that reduces colorectal cancer by encouraging:

  • Prevention= health lifestyles, diet and exercise, screening
  • Awareness= signs, symptoms, stats
  • Education= knowledge about treatments
  • Support= cancer coaching and psychosocial aspects
  • Advocacy = access to diagnostics and medicine

Entries must be submitted online and be received by March 31, 2010.

Cancer clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda

The National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research in Bethesda, MD, just outside of Washington D.C., conducts cancer clinical trials, including trials for colon and rectal cancer.

There is no cost to participate in a clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center.  In addition, transportation expenses are paid and there is a per diem to cover meals and lodging for outpatients.

Higher co-pays for Medicare end up costing more

When Medicare co-pays are raised for ambulatory visits, plan members make fewer out-patient visits, but are hospitalized more often and for more days.

In plans that raised co-pays, there were 20 fewer out-patient visits per 100 enrollees each year, but 2 more hospitalizations and 13 more days in the hospital compared to plans that kept co-pays stable.

For every 100 patients in plans that raised co-pays, the plan got $5,950 in extra money from co-pays and saved $1,200 from fewer outpatient visits for a net savings to the insurance plan of $7,150.  However, with an average cost of $11,o65 for each hospitalization of a patient 65 to 84, the increase in hospitalization cost $24,000 for each 100 plan enrollees.

Increased co-pays hit low-income, black, and less-educated patients particularly hard, decreasing numbers of visits and increasing hospitalizations.

Writing in the January 28, 2010 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, lead author Amal N. Trivedi, MD, MPH and team concluded,

Increasing copayments for ambulatory care reduced the use of outpatient care among elderly enrollees in managed-care plans, but this decline was offset by an increase in hospitalizations, particularly among enrollees with low socioeconomic status and those with chronic disease. Increasing copayments for ambulatory care among elderly patients may have adverse health consequences and may increase spending for health care

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