Navigation Links
In Tougher Economy, Fewer Americans Get Colonoscopy
Date:2/25/2012

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer people opted for potentially lifesaving colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer during the recent economic recession, largely because they couldn't afford to pay high out-of-pocket costs often associated with this test, new research finds.

During the recession of December 2007 to June 2009, about 500,000 fewer Americans who had health insurance underwent a screening colonoscopy, compared to the two years before the recession began. The study findings appear in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

"In difficult economic times, people are more likely to forgo necessary medical services if there are high out-of-pocket costs," said study author Dr. Spencer Dorn, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And "colonoscopy is never the most popular service to begin with."

During a colonoscopy, a doctor looks for abnormalities in the interior lining of your large intestine -- the rectum and colon -- with a camera after a day-long bowel cleanse or prep. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends colorectal screening for people aged 50 and 75.

Before the recession, the number of colonoscopies performed each year increased steadily, largely because of general awareness of the test's benefits and broader coverage by insurance companies, Dorn said.

The new study included data from 106 U.S. health plans on colonoscopy rates before and during the recession among people aged 50 to 64. Those people with out-of-pocket costs of at least $300 were less likely to have a colonoscopy during the recession compared to those with lower out-of-pocket costs, the study showed. Out-of-pocket costs in the study referred to co-insurance payments.

A similar trend -- higher co-pays and fewer cancer screenings -- seems to have occurred with mammograms, according to study background information.

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed colonoscopy can prevent colorectal cancer and dramatically reduce deaths from the disease. "Let's hope the economy gets better and we can try to get rid of cost sharing for colonoscopy," Dorn said.

As part of health reform, federal changes are under way that do away with co-pays for people covered by Medicare, Medicaid or new insurers for any test that the USPSTF deems as grade A. This includes colonoscopy.

Such cost-cutting measures are needed if Americans are to comply with recommended screening guidelines, the study authors and other experts say.

Among them is Dr. Robynne Chutkan, an assistant professor of medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. "Screening colonoscopy saves lives and is an important part of the preventive health care measures that we recommend for people age 50 and older," said Chutkan.

"One can only hope that at least some of the decrease in colonoscopies during the time period described represented people who were in financial straits at the time, but have now recovered and are able to refocus on their health," Chutkan said.

"We know that cost-sharing is a disincentive psychologically, even if the co-pay amount is small and 'affordable.' In principle, it is still a barrier for many people," Chutkan said.

More information

Learn more about colon cancer screening recommendations at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Spencer D. Dorn, M.D., MPH, assistant professor, medicine, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Robynne Chutkan, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C.; March 2012 Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Arthritic Hip May Be Tougher to Treat Than Knee
2. Living to 100 May Be Tougher Than You Think
3. Work-Life Balance Tougher for Couples With Similar Jobs
4. Genes May Make Quitting Tougher for Smokers
5. Kids Can Be Tougher on Obese Peers
6. Dull Tasks Tougher on the Entitled
7. Quitting Even Tougher When Smokers Battle Other Addictions
8. Menthol May Make It Tougher to Stop Smoking
9. Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders Tougher When Its Not Patients Call
10. As time goes by, it gets tougher to just remember this
11. Obese Pregnant Women May Have Tougher Time Fighting Infections
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
In Tougher Economy, Fewer Americans Get Colonoscopy 
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, ... aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and ... necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in concert ... capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and professional ... than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are ... labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like ... any needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: