Hoping for increased coverage for colonoscopy screenings for Medicare beneficiaries

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Dr. Bryan T. Green of Digestive Disease Group went to Washington, D.C. on March 5 and 6 and met with several senators and congressman to lobby for increased coverage for screening colonoscopy for Medicare beneficiaries. Dr. Green is the current President of the South Carolina Gastroenterology Association that represents over 100 gastrointestinal doctors in the state. The trip was part of the public policy forum for the Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC) which is a national advocacy organization for patients with digestive illnesses. In conjunction with its member organizations, DDNC seeks to raise awareness of digestive diseases in Congress and in the media. There are over 40 organizations within the DDNC including the American Gastroenterology Association, Celiac disease Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Colon Cancer Alliance, and a number of state gastroenterology associations along with many others.

Monday morning Dr. Green had appointments at the offices of Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell- Majority Leader of the Senate both of Kentucky along with Senators Lyndsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina. He had lunch with Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana (centered in the following picture). In the afternoon he visited the offices of Representatives Jeff Duncan and Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Representative Brett Guthrie of Kentucky.

March is national colon cancer awareness month. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and one of the most preventable as it begins as a single polyp that if identified during colonoscopy can be removed before it ever becomes cancerous. Due to increased screening, the United States has been one of the first countries in the world to actually show a decreased incidence of colon cancer. If all eligible individuals followed current screening recommendations, it is felt that over 70% of colon cancers could be prevented.

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