March 19, 2019
Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. today? Your risk for colorectal cancer increases as you age, but the good news is that colorectal cancer is Preventable, Treatable, Beatable® with screening tests (like colonoscopies) that can detect cancer early—or stop it before it even starts.
Colonoscopies save lives—they allow doctors to find polyps (grape-like growths on the wall of the intestine) and remove them before they turn into cancer. They can also detect colorectal cancer at its earliest stages, when successful treatment is more likely.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) considers colonoscopies to be a key preventive screening service, and the test is covered by Medicare at no cost. However, if a practitioner finds and removes a polyp or abnormal tissue during a colonoscopy, a copay is required—which can cause a significant financial burden to patients, oftentimes seniors who are living on fixed incomes.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has the authority to waive this cost-sharing requirement, and members of Congress are taking action to make this happen. The House of Representatives and Senate have introduced two new bills called the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, which will get rid of the copay requirement and protect seniors from surprise medical costs.
This Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, take action to urge your members of Congress to sign the letter to support the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act!