The Digestive Health Physician Association (DHPA) commends 94 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 27 Members of the U.S. Senate for their leadership in signing a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expressing concern that the pending proposal to reduce Medicare fee for service reimbursement for colorectal cancer screening and colonoscopy by 10 to 20 percent would jeopardize progress that has been made towards the goal of 80 percent screening rates for the recommended population by 2018.
On behalf of more than 1,300 gastroenterologists and other physician specialists whose medical practices are members of DHPA and are on the front lines battling to reduce barriers to colorectal cancer screening, the organization spearheaded efforts to encourage Members of Congress to add their support and sign the letters.
“We applaud the leadership of Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Leonard Lance, (R-NJ), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and well over 100 of their colleagues from both sides of the aisle who support efforts to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and deaths from the disease,” said Dr. Scott R. Ketover, president of DHPA. “Working together we’re hopeful that we can meet the 80 percent by 2018 goal, and protecting access to colorectal cancer screening for Medicare beneficiaries is critical to our success.”
Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate letters urge CMS to carefully consider the solicited stakeholder comments on the proposed rule before determining whether cuts of this magnitude are justified by the evidence and are in the interests of Medicare beneficiaries, who currently account for two-thirds of the more than 133,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.