Tag Archives: colonoscopy

Detailing Inconsistencies On Who Has to Pay for Their Polyps

The Kaiser Family Foundation, working with the American Cancer Society and the National Colorectal Cancer Round Table, today released results of its investigation into the problem of patients being billed unexpectedly for costs of colonoscopies initiated at routine screening tests. Fight Colorectal Cancer was one of the organizations that contributed to the report. One way the new federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to reduce medical spending is to improve cost-effective screening that prevents or detects diseases before they become complicated and expensive to treat. But consumer complaints reveal that, for screening colonoscopies in particular, consumers are getting unexpected bills when insurers decide their colonoscopies were no longer “screening” procedures. Instead

Have They Found a Better Colonoscopy Prep?

Ask almost anyone after their first colonoscopy, and they’ll tell you, “The procedure was nothing, but the prep was awful.” Now patients are reporting that combining MiraLAX®, an over-the-counter laxative, with 2 quarts of Gatorade tastes better and is easier to take than the standard 4-quart Golytely colonoscopy preparation. In a randomized clinical trial , almost 100 percent said they would repeat it again, compared to 1 out of 4 who wouldn’t take GoLYTELY® in the future. In addition, doctors found no differences in how thoroughly the two preps clean the colon. Splitting the dose between the night before the colonoscopy and the morning of the procedure did improve colon

Giving Patients a Screening Choice Matters

When patients  were offered a choice of colorectal cancer screening with either FOBT or colonoscopy, they were significantly more likely to complete that screening than when their doctors recommended only FOBT or only colonoscopy. Nearly 1000 racially and ethnically diverse patients in urban primary care practices were randomly assigned to get colorectal cancer screening via: Fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) Colonoscopy, or Their choice of either FOBT or colonoscopy. Overall, 58 percent were screened within the next year. 

Do You Need that Test? Wise Choices from Gastroenterologists

How soon should average risk people get another colorectal cancer screening after they have a normal colonoscopy? No sooner than 10 years, the American Gastroenterological Association recommends as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign. The AGA’s list of Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question includes: Use the lowest possible effective dose of acid reducing medicines to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). After a negative, quality colonoscopy, don’t repeat colorectal cancer screening by any method for 10 years. After removing 1 or 2 small (less than 1 centimeter) adenomatous polyps without signs of cellular change (dysplasia), don’t repeat the colonoscopy for at least 5 years. After two endoscopies without dysplasia,

The Calls to Congress are done – for now, but Support of H.R. 4120 still needed

Seniors’ access to a screening colonoscopy is at risk and YOU can help! We need you to continue to add your voice and urge your Representative to support H.R. 4120! Simply submit an Action Alert. H.R. 4120, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2012, will fix a regulation that requires Medicare beneficiaries to pay coinsurance when their screening colonoscopy involves the removal of a polyp. The current policy can cost patients $100 to $300 and serve as a deterrent to screening. We need cosponsors for this legislation if it is to pass into law & YOU can help!

New Bill in Congress Aims to Save Seniors’ Lives

Legislation was introduced in Congress today that will correct an oversight to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires Medicare beneficiaries to pay coinsurance when their screening colonoscopy also involves the removal of a polyp or cancer. When a screening colonoscopy turns therapeutic, the cost to the Medicare patient is significant – $100 to $300 – and it could serve as a deterrent to screening. The legislation, Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2012 (H.R. 4120), was introduced by Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania.

William I. Wolff, Colonoscopy Pioneer

Dr. William Wolff died on August 20 at his home Manhattan.  He was 94. In the mid 1960′s Dr. Wolff, working with his colleague Dr. Hiromi Shinya at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, began studying how fiber optics and a long, soft, flexible tube might make it possible to see inside the entire length of the colon.  Together they developed  the first colonoscope. In 1969, Dr. Shinya invented a wire snare and electrocautery making it possible for the team to remove polyps during a colonoscopy. By 1973, Dr. Wolff and Dr. Shinya had performed over 2,000 colonoscopies in the Endoscopy Unit at Beth Israel, demonstrating that in skilled

Poor Bowel Preps Mean Missed Polyps

When bowel preps are not good, doctors may miss almost half of adenomas (polyps) during colonoscopy.  Worse, they may miss nearly 1 in 3 large adenomas, the most worrisome kind. The bad news is that bowel prep may be suboptimal in as many of one in four patients. Because of the danger of missing an adenoma after poor bowel prep, some doctors will repeat the colonoscopy, particularly if they found at least one adenoma during the first exam.  

Some People Getting Colonoscopy Screening Too Often

After a normal colonoscopy when no polyps are found, guidelines call for a repeat test in 10 years. However, almost half of Medicare patients with a negative colonoscopy got another exam within 7 years, and for one in four there was no clear evidence that they needed one. Because colonoscopies have real risks and are expensive, over-testing can be both dangerous and costly. Given limited numbers of physicians who do colonoscopies, unecessary procedures add to long waiting lists for screening and for necessary follow-up exams. Although Medicare regulations call for reimbursement only after 10 years in cases where the first procedure didn’t find a problem, payments are being made for

Are Polyps Harder to Detect in Women?

Digestive Disease Week  2011 Update Although many studies show that men have more adenomas (pre-cancerous polyps) than women, there is no difference in rates of colorectal cancer between men and women. Could this be because women have polyps that are harder to detect during screening and so aren’t removed in time to prevent cancer? That was the question that Dr. Joseph Anderson at the University of Connecticut asked.

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