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Letter to White House Urges Full Medicare Coverage of Colonoscopy Screenings

Letter to White House Urges Full Medicare Coverage of Colonoscopy Screenings | ASCRS

Currently, Medicare doesn’t charge patients out of pocket for preventative colonoscopies—unless the procedure detects precancerous polyps. Forty-five organizations—including the American College of Surgeons and The Colon Club, the 2019 winner of the ASCRS Jagelman Award for Colorectal Cancer Advocacy—have written a letter advising the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fully cover colonoscopy screenings under Medicare regardless of the presence of polyps.

The letter points out that Medicare patients are disproportionately affected by colorectal cancer due to their age. Colonoscopy screenings are essential preventative services for this population. Billing as such has the potential not only to reduce government spending on preventable late-stage treatment, but more importantly to save thousands of lives.