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Medical illustration of Colorectal Cancer - Polyp
March 4, 2020

Access to CRC screening remains top priority during March awareness month

We're advocating for increased awareness, screening and early diagnosis to improve patient outcomes.
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AGA and the entire digestive disease community are rallying to ensure physicians and patients have the resources they need to succeed.

Advocating for Patient Access to Screening

This month, we are increasing our presence on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to pass H.R. 1570/ S. 668, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act. This legislation would fix the cost sharing loophole that currently exists for Medicare beneficiaries when they receive a screening colonoscopy that turns therapeutic.

We have worked with congressional champions and CMS for nine years to fix this barrier to screening. We have made significant headway on this issue in 2019 and 2020:

  • For the first time ever, the legislative language was included in H.R. 3, Speaker Pelosi’s drug pricing legislation and passed the House.
  • The legislative language was also recently included in a youth tobacco bill that passed the House.
  • President Trump has indicated support for fixing this issue and included language to do so in his 2021 budget.

AGA leadership is also advocating for patient access to screening. On March 26, AGA President Hashem B. El-Serag, MD, MPH, AGAF, will be on Capitol Hill meeting with congressional offices on this issue and other top policy priorities. Our goal is to garner enough support that the colonoscopy cost sharing fix will be included in the May health care extenders bill.

Interested in engaging on this issue? 
Join Dr. El-Serag in advocating for this legislative fix by contacting your legislator about the importance of patient access to CRC screening via social media and AGA’s online advocacy tool.

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