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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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