10 most popular gastroenterology/endoscopy stories of 2017

Breaking news, rising colorectal cancer rates and the on-screen presence of Dr. Shoukath Ansari captured the attention of Becker's ASC Review gastroenterology/endoscopy readers in 2017.

The following are the most popular GI/endoscopy stories from Becker's ASC Review this year:

1. Iowa hospital reaches $500k settlement over colonoscopy case
Denison, Iowa-based Crawford County Hospital paid the widow of a patient who underwent a colonoscopy and later died from a severe infection $500,000. The patient underwent a routine colonoscopy at the hospital. A surgeon accidentally tore the patient's colon during the procedure. The hospital scheduled a follow-up surgery the next day, but intestinal contents leaked into the patient's abdomen, causing a severe infection. The patient died eight days after the screening procedure.

2. Florida jury finds gastroenterologist not liable in alleged 'slapdash colonoscopy' trial
A jury in a Florida state court cleared David Vastola, MD, Aug. 16, of all responsibilities in a case a patient brought against him. Dr. Vastola was accused by a former patient of conducting a "slapdash colonoscopy." The patient developed colon cancer 18 months after Dr. Vastola performed a colonoscopy in 2011. Dr. Vastola performed a second colonoscopy in 2013 and found the disease had spread. After a 90-minute deliberation, Dr. Vastola was cleared of all responsibility.

3. Colorectal cancer rates rocketing in millennials
After years of decreases, colorectal cancer is re-emerging at alarming rates in the millennial generation. Researchers found colon cancer incidence rates increased by 1 percent to 2.4 percent annually in 20-to 39-year-old adults since the mid 1980s.

4. What you need to know about gastroenterologist, 'Master of None' actor Dr. Shoukath Ansari
Shoukath Ansari, MD, is a gastroenterologist and the medical director of Hamlet, N.C.-based Sandhills Endoscopy Center as well as an actor and the father of comedian Aziz Ansari. Dr. Ansari has a regular role on Mr. Ansari's Netflix program "Master of None," as the father of Mr. Ansari's character, Dev. Click here for five more facts on Dr. Ansari.

5. FDA issues alert over fluid-filled intragastric balloons
After receiving multiple adverse events reports, the FDA wrote a letter to providers urging for heightened patient monitoring. Providers reported two adverse events. The first involved the balloons over-inflating with air or fluid in a patient's stomach. The second involved patients developing acute pancreatitis. Both events result in premature device removal.

6. 5 ways CMS changes are affecting reimbursement for ASCs, anesthesia practices and providers
The symbiotic partnership between endoscopists and anesthesiologists could soon be at risk after CMS waived co-payment and deductible responsibilities for colonoscopy patients. While American Society of Anesthesiologists endoscopy codes provide the same basic value for all payers, endoscopists are facing downward pressure concerning payment. From 2016 to 2017, diagnostic colonoscopy payments declined 16.5 percent.

7. Boston Scientific continues to pour money into endoscopy — Why?
Market research firm Trefis analyzed why Boston Scientific continues to invest in the endoscopy market finding the company was using its endoscopy offerings to cover for losses its cardiovascular medical device business created. Read what else the investors had to say.

8. Memorial Hermann Endoscopy and Surgery Center physicians to pay $1.5M+ to settle Medicare fraud allegations
North Houston, Texas-based Memorial Hermann Endoscopy and Surgery Center physicians agreed to pay more than $1.5 million to settle Medicare fraud allegations. Gurunath Thota Reddy, MD, and other surgery center physicians allegedly performed colonoscopies for 7.5 years that Medicare deemed "essentially worthless."

9. Renewed interest in gastroparesis research brings cure into focus
Until recently, gastroparesis treatment was a largely unmet need in the U.S., but now it is back in the forefront. Here is the latest on gastroparesis research.

10. The 20 states with the best and worst colorectal cancer screening rates
The Health Resources and Services Administration used 2015 Uniform Data System data to compile colorectal cancer screen rates at U.S. federally qualified health centers across the country. Here are the best and the rest.

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