Free Colonoscopy Coverage Means Polyps, Too

A routine colonoscopy was supposed to be free under the new health care law, but then insurers began charging if doctors found and removed a polyp during the procedure. That’s a no-no, announced the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week, in an effort to clear up confusion about this and other medical tests that should be considered free preventive care, the Associated Press reported. In the notice posted on the HHS website, the agency explained that “polyp …

Costly Anesthesia: Waking Up To High Colonoscopy Bills

The costly issue of receiving anesthesia during a colonoscopy has become a hot topic. While gastroenterologists often let patients decide how much sedation they’d like when they have the procedure, a growing number of patients are discovering that they’ve been put under by an anesthesiologist, or nurse anesthetist, who then charges extra for their services. In some cases, this can leave the patient with unexpected bills that may not be covered or only partly covered by their insurer. As National …

A Laxative-Free, Virtual Colonoscopy? It Could Happen Soon

Think of it: A virtual colonoscopy that doesn’t require a day spent taking laxatives and being sequestered in the bathroom, and doesn’t use that lovely little camera-probe inserted where the sun don’t shine. Sign me up, you might say. Yeah, well, not so fast. First, it’s still being studied. And second, it’s almost — but not quite — as accurate as the traditional colonoscopy that does require all that prep work. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine …

Colonoscopy Cuts Death Rate By Half, New Study Shows

It’s probably your least favorite cancer test, but a new study finds that the colonoscopy dramatically cuts the death rate from colorectal cancer. A team of researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City found that the death rate from colorectal cancer was cut by 53 percent in patients who had a colonoscopy with removal of precancerous polyps, or small tumors. The evidence was based on 2,602 adults, who had polyps removed during colonoscopies from 1980 to 1990, …

Is 75 Too Old For Routine Screening Tests?

If you’re 75 or older, you don’t need routine screening for breast, colorectal and prostate cancer. If you’re a woman age 65 or older, you don’t need to be tested for cervical cancer (the Pap test or Pap smear). These are the current guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, but a new study finds that many older Americans are being routinely screened for these diseases — something experts say is unnecessary,  costly for our health care system, and …

Are You Too Old To Be Having That Test?

Do men and women over 75 still need to get colonoscopies? Does an 80-year-old woman really need a mammogram? What about a man who’s over 75 — is PSA testing for prostate disease really necessary? The answer is a resounding “no,” say a growing number of doctors and researchers.