This is part of a series of 3 blog posts whereby a family member (FM) of a patient is having a discussion on colonoscopy and colon cancer screening with a gastroenterologist (D). Many individuals find reasons to put off their recommended colon cancer screening. Many of these objections to screening are addressed in this series. If you know someone who is resisting having their screening performed, please print or email them these 3 posts. It could save their life!
FM: I don’t want to take two days off.
D: You don’t have to. You will prep the evening before the procedure. So, you only need the day of the procedure off. You will only be asleep for the duration of the procedure, 20-30 minutes at the most. However, patients cannot drive after the procedure.
FM: I don’t want to pay a lot of money. I can’t afford it!
D: Most health insurance companies and Medicare cover 100% of a screening colonoscopy (meaning there are no symptoms) for everyone 50+. Our insurance and billing staff perform a check prior to the procedure and will inform you of your coverage. We are here to assist you with payment plans, etc. as needed.
Also, if you wait until you have symptoms, not only are you jeopardizing your health, but also your wallet. Why? At the point that there are symptoms (rectal bleeding, blood in stool, blood in toilet or on toilet paper, abdominal pain, changes in bowel frequency or consistency), the colonoscopy will likely be considered diagnostic (meaning it’s performed to evaluate causes of symptoms), and copays or deductible may lead to patients incurring costs.
FM: I will think about doing the colonostomy.
D: A colonoscopy is the procedure we talked about. A colostomy is an opening of the colon on to the skin, with a bag covering it. A colonostomy or a colonoscophy are the most seen misspellings of colonoscopy.
So, now that we have handled all of your objections to colonoscopy, here is the phone number to call and schedule your colonoscopy. (225.927.1190) Patients do not need a referral from your doctor. The Open Access Colonoscopy Screening Clinic nurse will provide instruction and schedule you, provided you do not have any other symptoms. If you do have symptoms, we can help schedule a consult appointment with one of our gastroenterologists.
(D: To Self: Good! One more life saved, but I am now late for my next patient! Time to hurry, hurry, hurry!!)
Get Behind Screening!
Everyone should strongly consider having colon cancer screening procedures performed at a high volume center where the staff is most experienced and well-trained. Recent research indicates that the best outcomes happen when a colonoscopy is performed by a board-certified gastroenterologist, as opposed to other physicians with less colonoscopy volume and subsequently less experience.
Board-certified gastroenterologists are trained for better detection and removal of polyps and appropriate treatment of any conditions noted, than other types of providers who may be just able to do a procedure. GI Alliance is dedicated to performing only gastrointestinal procedures with utmost levels of precision and care.