Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Colon Cancer Screening Before Medicare Age Could Save Millions In Federal Health Care Dollars

Date:
October 6, 2008
Source:
American College of Gastroenterology
Summary:
A screening program for colon cancer in patients starting ten years prior to Medicare eligibility, at age 55 instead of Medicare's 65, would save at least two dollars for every dollar spent, according to a new study.

A screening program for colon cancer in patients starting ten years prior to Medicare eligibility, at age 55 instead of Medicare's 65, would save at least two dollars for every dollar spent, according to a new study presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando.

As people get older, their risk of developing polyps and colorectal cancer increases. Current guidelines recommend a screening colonoscopy for average risk individuals beginning at age 50. But for many uninsured Americans, a lack of health insurance coverage poses a barrier to screening. Medicare coverage for most Americans begins at age 65, creating a coverage gap.

In order to determine the effect of a lack of health coverage on screening and the cost effectiveness of screening uninsured patients, Dr. Scott Tenner and colleagues from the State University of New York and New York College of Osteopathic Medicine offered free colonoscopies to 248 consecutive patients (mean age 55) at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn as part of a colorectal cancer screening program. Nearly 45 percent of patients had polyps. Five patients had early stage colon cancer, and 22 patients had polyps larger than 1 cm. These large polyps are felt to have a greater risk of harboring or developing into colorectal cancer than smaller polyps. The screening program cost a total of $390,000.

The researchers concluded that had these patients not been screened, and the cancers and polyps allowed to progress undetected—assuming the cost of treatment and screening would be delayed until the Medicare eligibility age of 65—the estimated costs would be $1,295,000.

"Our study highlights the cost effectiveness and the lifesaving potential of a federally funded screening program for the uninsured ten years before they are eligible for Medicare," said Dr. Tenner.

About Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, second only to lung cancer. The ACG recommends that for average-risk individuals, colorectal cancer screening tests begin at age 50. African Americans should begin screening at age 45. The preferred approach is a screening colonoscopy every 10 years. For high-risk individuals, screening colonoscopy may begin earlier and is performed more frequently.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Gastroenterology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American College of Gastroenterology. "Colon Cancer Screening Before Medicare Age Could Save Millions In Federal Health Care Dollars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006092652.htm>.
American College of Gastroenterology. (2008, October 6). Colon Cancer Screening Before Medicare Age Could Save Millions In Federal Health Care Dollars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006092652.htm
American College of Gastroenterology. "Colon Cancer Screening Before Medicare Age Could Save Millions In Federal Health Care Dollars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006092652.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins