Screening Colonoscopies

CMS 1500 Professional Services

Did you know?

  • According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. when numbers for men and women are combined. For the year 2024, the ACS estimates that in the U.S. 106,590 new cases of colon cancer and 46,220 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed, and that 53,010 will die from these diseases.
  • Risk factors for colorectal cancer include age, having a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, and having an inflammatory bowel disease. Lifestyle factors such as a lack of regular physical activity, a low-fiber and high-fat diet, and obesity may also contribute to an increased risk.

Why should I care?

  • Screening saves lives by helping to find precancerous polyps before they turn cancerous, and by helping to find colorectal cancer at an early stage.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the decline in cancer screenings has raised concerns of delayed diagnoses. Cancers missed during the pandemic could lead to their being discovered later on with worse prognoses.
  • Our data is showing that among Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries, screening colonoscopies in our national footprint declined 97% from January to April 2020. Thereafter, procedure volumes did increase, and after exhibiting some wide fluctuations, have stabilized in more recent months. As of October 2023, there were a total of 75,177 procedures performed that month.

What should I do?

  • At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people stopped getting their regular cancer screenings. The ACS advises that people talk to their healthcare providers about options to help get them on schedule (or back on schedule) for their screening tests.

Let us show you how we can help you make more informed decisions with our RealTime Medicare FFS claims data.

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