As the New Year ball readies to drop at midnight, relive gastroenterology in 2018 with Becker's ASC Review. From new clinical guidelines to the reemergence of private equity investment, 2018 offered glimpses into the future of the specialty.
Here are five of the biggest trends Becker's ASC Review reported on in 2018:
Lower colorectal cancer screening guidelines
The American Cancer Society lowered its recommended CRC screening age from 50 to 45 in May, citing an increase in early-onset CRC cases, setting the GI world abuzz. The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology followed later in the year, recommending it on a partial level. American Gastroenterological Association education committee chair, and medical director of the New Haven, Conn.-based Yale University's colorectal cancer prevention program Xavier Llou, MD, PhD, offered Becker's ASC Review insight into the guideline process.
Revitalized emergence of private equity money
After Miami-based Gastro Health closed its deal with Audax Private Equity in 2016, PE investment was stagnant until November when Southlake-based Texas Digestive Disease Consultants closed a deal with Waud Capital Partners and then in December when Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates entered into a deal with Frazier Healthcare Partners. Now many experts predict the hotbed of GI-focused PE investment is on its way with several more transactions expected to close in 2019.
AI broke into GI in a big way in 2019, using machine learning to improve polyp detection rates. Although the trend is still emerging, AI-assisted colonoscopies could revolutionize the field and increase colonoscopy effectiveness greatly.
Industry-wide price transparency took on a great role, with CMS making several moves to improve consumer choice. In GI that was no different. As consumers continue to shop for care, centers embracing price transparency will be more appealing to consumers.
Although colonoscopy remains the gold standard for polyp detection, colonoscopy alternatives continue to market and establish themselves as effective alternates. Notably, Exact Sciences continued promoting its Cologuard test with considerable success. Several blood-based tests are also in development with promising early results.
Most read GI articles of 2018
Becker's ASC Review published a slew of gastroenterology-focused articles featuring commentary, statistics and more. Here are some of the most read articles for the year:
- 3 GIs share their thoughts on Exact Sciences' Cologuard
- 42 celebrities with IBS or IBD
- The best hospitals for gastroenterology in every state
- 15 statistics on GI starting salary
- How the proposed 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule can impact GIs — 12 insights
- Top 10 states with the highest volume of gastroenterology procedures per ASC
- Dr. Christina Ha performs colonoscopy on Jimmy Kimmel for TV: 5 insights
- GI PE activity booming — Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates partners with Frazier Healthcare Partners
- Here's what CMS pays for 10 gastroenterology procedures