2015-03-10 19:05:04 UTC

Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Legislation Introduced

March 12, 2015

AGA has long advocated for Medicare to waive co-insurance for patients whose colonoscopy becomes therapeutic and supports new legislation on this effort.

The Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act (H.R. 1220 & S. 624) was introduced in the House and Senate with bipartisan support. S. 624 was introduced by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, Susan Collins, R-ME, Ben Cardin, R-MD, and Roger Wicker, R-MS, and H.R. 1220 was introduced by Reps. Charlie Dent, R-PA, and Donald Payne Jr., D-NJ. The legislation would waive the co-insurance for Medicare patients whose screening colonoscopy becomes therapeutic since Medicare policy does not currently do so. 

This is the first year that the Senate version of the legislation has had strong bipartisan support, and the sponsors continue to look for legislative vehicles to attach the bill to get it passed.  

“AGA applauds the sponsors of this legislation for their leadership in introducing the Removing Barriers to CRC Screening Act and for their tireless efforts in increasing awareness as to the importance of screening,” said John I. Allen, MD, MBA, president, AGA Institute. “We know screening saves lives, but if patients do not have full coverage of a screening colonoscopy, regardless of the outcome, it will deter some patients, particularly those high-risk patients, from getting screened. This legislation will assure Medicare patients that the screening will be covered and will provide clarity for physicians who have struggled with this confusing policy.”

AGA has long advocated for this change since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act waived the cost sharing for colorectal screening. We will continue to push for this change, both legislatively and administratively, and will also continue to urge CMS to define the continuum of care for colorectal cancer screening to include patients with positive stool screening tests that require a subsequent colonoscopy.   

More on Colorectal Cancer

Principles of GI for the NP and PA

Aug. 10, 2018

Hear from the experts as they provide you with critical updates on treating and managing patients with a variety of GI disorders.

2018 AGA Postgraduate Course

June 2, 2018

Secure your spot for this clinically focused, multi-topic course that offers immediately applicable information. Held in conjunction with DDW®. Save $75 when you register by April 18.

Advocate CMS, close the colonoscopy loophole

March 8, 2018

AGA urges CMS to address the cost sharing problem that arises when screening colonoscopies become diagnostic for Medicare patients.