Navigation Links
Obama Speech Heralds Prevention Power of Screening Tests Like Colonoscopy

Gastroenterologists Applaud President's Call for Coverage

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gastrointestinal specialists from the American College of Gastroenterology applaud President Obama's call to cover preventive screening tests, such as breast cancer exams and colonoscopy. In his health care speech to a joint session of Congress last night, the President argued that "there's no reason we shouldn't be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense."

The American College of Gastroenterology has long supported the lifesaving potential of screening by colonoscopy specifically because it can detect and remove pre-cancerous polyps and thereby prevent the development of colorectal cancer.

"We know screening for colorectal cancer is good health policy, and makes good economic sense," commented ACG President Dr. Eamonn Quigley. Studies have shown that for every dollar spent by Medicare for this life-saving test cuts about $3 in long-term medical costs. The New England Journal of Medicine says that a colonoscopy colorectal cancer screening is one of the few preventive services shown to reduce future health care costs.

"That's a good return on investment in any business - especially when you're saving lives. When screening procedures detect colon cancer early, nine of ten patients beat the disease. In the absence of screening, colon cancer is usually found too late and many patients die. Those are starkly different outcomes that we have the power to change," added Dr. Quigley.

Colonoscopy is one of the most powerful preventive tools in clinical medicine because of its excellent sensitivity in detecting polyps and its potential for removing them and breaking the sequence of polyp to cancer in a single diagnostic and therapeutic intervention. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) provides its only Grade 'A' recommendation of cancer screening to colorectal cancer screens.

Yet colorectal cancer screenings remain underutilized as only 40 percent of colorectal cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, according to the latest figures released by the American Cancer Society. The Institute of Medicine cites poor provider reimbursement as one of the reasons for this underutilization as well.

"The American College of Gastroenterology continues to be deeply concerned that the lifesaving potential of colorectal screening tests is unrealized. The stark reality is that screening tests remain widely underutilized," commented Dr. Quigley.

At a time when the overall trend in colorectal cancer mortality is declining because of the use of screening tests, racial minorities, uninsured Americans, and Medicare patients who should be tested, are not being screened appropriately. Recent studies reveal that they are diagnosed with more advanced cancers compared to patients with private insurance. "We can point to impressive milestones indicating a trend moving in the right direction, yet much work remains. We will continue to champion the lifesaving potential of colonoscopy and work to expand access to lifesaving screening tests," said Quigley.

The American College of Gastroenterology is committed to national policy changes to improve access to colorectal screening and increased use of these proven prevention strategies, including reversing Medicare's massive cuts to reimbursement for these tests since the benefit was first introduced, as well as to payments in ambulatory surgery centers where many screening tests are performed. Congress is considering important colorectal screening legislation introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as the "Supporting ColoRectal Examination and Education Now" or SCREEN Act (S. 1511). The bill will also be introduced in the House soon. The College supports this legislation, which aims to remove barriers to colon cancer screening for Medicare patients.

About the SCREEN Act

The SCREEN Act promotes access to colorectal cancer screenings by waiving Medicare beneficiary cost sharing, increasing reimbursement rates for screening services, and by providing Medicare coverage for a pre-screening consultation. The SCREEN Act also authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to set a nationwide colorectal cancer screening target rate, implements colorectal cancer screening grant programs, and would require annual reminders to Medicare beneficiaries regarding the importance of colorectal cancer screening.

"At a time when Congress and the President are seeking to improve access to high quality health care and preventive services, legislation such as the SCREEN Act will increase the rate of colorectal cancer screening through proven measures to accomplish these goals," said Dr. Quigley.

About the American College of Gastroenterology

Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership of more than 10,000 individuals from 80 countries. The College is committed to serving the clinically oriented digestive disease specialist through its emphasis on scholarly practice, teaching and research. The mission of the College is to serve the evolving needs of physicians in the delivery of high quality, scientifically sound, humanistic, ethical, and cost-effective health care to gastroenterology patients. To learn more, visit

SOURCE American College of Gastroenterology
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Catholic Health Association: Census Bureau Report and President Obama Make Strong Case for Bold, Immediate Action on Health Reform
2. Clarus Research Group Survey: Top Political Strategists React to Obamas Health Care Speech, Rate Effectiveness
3. President Obamas Campaign Style Speech Points to a Health Care Plan on Life Support
4. Americas Registered Nurses to Obama:
5. Richard Viguerie: Obamacare is Restarting the Conservative Movement
6. National Alliance for Hispanic Health Applauds President Obamas Efforts to Achieve Meaningful Health Care Reform in 2009
7. AHIP Statement on President Obamas Address to the Nation
8. AMA Reaction to President Obamas Address on Health-System Reform
9. President Obamas Medical Malpractice Proposal Will Hurt Patients and Dump More Costs On Taxpayers
10. Pelosi on President Obamas Health Reform Speech: The Time to Act Is Now; And We Will
11. Mayor Gavin Newsom to Be President Obamas Guest for Healthcare Reform Speech to the Nation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their record books yet again ... free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for the PRMA team, says ... and it’s an honor to have served all of these women.” , PRMA is ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based ... system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of software for many key components ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Finnleo, a leader in ... on several models of traditional and far-infrared saunas. , For traditional saunas, ... the most traditional Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only European Grade A Nordic ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Ministers, senior government ... ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies and ... opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, Stakeholders ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... FL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... center, is encouraging people across the country to celebrate their sobriety and show ... people to post “before and after” photos this Thanksgiving with the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... that immunotherapy can be efficiently combined with photodynamic therapy ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... --> --> Juntendo University ... contrast weighting of MRI for patients with Multiple Sclerosis ... agreement with SyntheticMR in order to use SyMRI in clinical ... to generate multiple contrast images from a single scan and ... making it possible to both fine tune images and recreate ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO , November 26, 2015 ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ... as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is ... convenient and cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: