Close colonoscopy screening loophole, raise Medicare payments, physicians urge lawmakers

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy penned a letter voicing its support for a House bill that would lower drug costs for seniors and update Medicare payments in 2021.

The bill, titled the "Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act," would close the "screening loophole," a situation where Medicare beneficiaries are required to foot the bill for a colonoscopy if a precancerous or cancerous polyp is removed. The bill also proposes a 0.5 percent physician payment update for Medicare rates for 2020 and 2021.

The bill also would require CMS to negotiate prices for certain drugs, including insulin, nongeneric drugs and more than 100 drugs that account for the highest spending nationally.

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