New study suggests eliminating costs for colonoscopy does not improve CRC screening rates

Researchers from the University Hospitals Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland have conducted a national study to determine whether offering colonoscopy at no cost to Medicare patients increases the colorectal cancer screening rate, according to a DOTMed report.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare beneficiaries have access to screening colonoscopy at no cost, as the price was long assumed to be one of the biggest barriers to CRC screening. But, the study authors found removing cost from the equation did not significantly increase the number of Medicare beneficiaries who underwent screening.

The researchers concluded other factors affecting screening rates should be examined. For example, the study found patients who had yearly preventative visits with a primary care physician were more likely to undergo colonoscopy screening.

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