Faced with cuts in Medicare reimbursement for colonoscopy, some gastroenterologists said they might reduce the number of procedures they do and retire earlier than they had intended, according to a recent survey.
Although hypothetical, a shrinking GI workforce could hinder the ongoing initiative of extending screening for colorectal cancer to more of the eligible population.
Almost 20 percent of the people in low-income communities who die of colon cancer could have been saved with early screening. And those premature deaths take a toll on communities that can least bear it. Lower-income communities in the United States face $6.4 billion in lost wages and productivity because of premature deaths due to colon cancer, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Shute, 11/13)