ACG, AGA, ASGE, Fight CRC, and More Than 80 Organizations Unite to Advocate for Improved Screening Access and Policy Clarifications from Federal Agencies 

In a collaborative effort to enhance access to life-saving colorectal cancer screenings, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), and Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) have partnered with over 80 medical societies and patient advocacy organizations. Together, they have issued a letter to three federal agencies, urging them to take decisive action. 

The joint initiative targets the Departments of Health & Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, with a specific request for policy clarifications that ensure surveillance colonoscopies are covered as preventive services under the Affordable Care Act. This proposed change aligns with Medicare coverage policy and is believed to be consistent with guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Surveillance colonoscopies play a crucial role in the ongoing health management of patients who have undergone initial screening tests and had precancerous polyps removed. Despite their integral place in the screening continuum, many private insurers categorize these follow-up procedures as diagnostic, resulting in higher-risk patients facing additional cost-sharing. 

In the letter, the groups emphasize the importance of establishing policies that support the screening continuum and dismantle barriers to preventive care, particularly those related to cost sharing. The advocacy coalition expresses optimism that the Biden Administration will respond to this urgent call to action. 

Molly McDonnell, Fight CRC’s Director of Advocacy states, "It is imperative that we remove barriers to preventive care for patients, particularly those that we know are at higher risk of colorectal cancer. Removing out of pockets costs for patients needing surveillance colonoscopy is a critical step to reducing the burden of this disease. We are hopeful the Biden Administration will continue to build on their work to improve access to colorectal cancer screening and heed this call to action." 

In addition to the organization-led letter, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is leading a congressional letter to the agencies, echoing the request of Fight CRC and others to remove cost-sharing for patients needing surveillance colonoscopy. The coalition is encouraging individuals to reach out to their members of Congress and urge them to sign Rep. Dingell’s letter in support of the proposed policy changes. Join ACG, AGA, ASGE, Fight CRC, and numerous organizations in their mission to improve colorectal cancer screening access and ensure policy clarity.  

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