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New Data Reveals That Gaps in Coverage for Those With Private Insurance Are Major Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening
Date:3/6/2009

ommended a colonoscopy as part of her annual physical. Because it was classified as a preventative procedure by her insurer, and she had already used most of her $750 preventative care allotment that year, Catherine was responsible for the entire $3,000 procedure cost.

"I've always had every single test my doctor recommended," she explains. "From mammograms to Pap smears and now bone scans. I knew that I should have a colonoscopy, but the financial burden at that point was just too high."

Three years later, Catherine moved to Georgia, an A state since 2002. She was shocked to discover that because she was over age 50, she didn't even need a physician's referral for a colonoscopy to be scheduled, and with the cost completely covered by her insurer.

The results of her colonoscopy were shocking as well. The test revealed that Catherine had Stage 3 colon cancer, which she later found had spread to two of her lymph nodes. According to her oncologist, a colonoscopy in 2005 may have found her polyps early enough to prevent her cancer, and at the very least, would have caught it at a much earlier stage. She's now at the beginning of a 24 week course of intense chemotherapy.

"I always considered myself a healthy person," Catherine explains. "Unless people feel vulnerable, I don't think they're inclined to act on things like screening. And if they have to pay anything for preventive care, the barriers can be just too high."

About the Report Card Coalition

Launched in 2004, the Colorectal Cancer Legislation Report Card initiative is supported by a coalition that includes ACS CAN, American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition, Colon Cancer Alliance, Hadassah, Prevent Cancer Foundation, The Colon Club,
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SOURCE Entertainment Industry Foundation
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