Preventing Colorectal Cancer Issues Policy Statement Regarding Insurance Coverage for Sedation during Colonoscopy Screenings

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In an effort to shed light on the current state of insurance coverage regarding sedation during preventative screening colonoscopies, Preventing Colorectal Cancer (PCC) has issued a policy statement regarding the use of sedation in screening colonoscopies and why not only the screening itself, but the anesthesia should be covered.

Developed by the board members of Preventing Colorectal Cancer, a not-for-profit advocacy organization, the policy statement has been issued in hopes of educating the public and private stakeholders to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer through promoting effective screening, prevention and care options for patients.

“Colonoscopy with propofol sedation represents the gold standard in screenings to detect and prevent colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States,” says Stanford R. Plavin, MD, president and managing partner of Ambulatory Anesthesia of Atlanta and vice chair of Preventing Colorectal Cancer.  “Health plans and other insurers should continue to pay for the screening procedure itself, the anesthesia services associated with the colonoscopy, and the removal of any polyps.”

Colorectal cancer (CRC) arises from precancerous growths in the colon called polyps. Detecting and removing polyp growths through a screening colonoscopy has been proven to reduce colorectal cancer related deaths. The administration of propofol during a colonoscopy screening has been linked to increased rates of polyp detection during the exams, higher colon completion (cecal intubation) rates, as well as improved patient satisfaction.

“Patients undergoing colorectal cancer screening should be provided with the best available options for a safe, painless and clinically superior colonoscopy.  There is compelling evidence that anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA) administered propofol delivers the highest quality of care,” says Steven Morris, MD, and board chair of PCC. “Every patient deserves nothing less than the maximum value we can give.”

In an effort to promote its mission of reducing the incidence of colorectal cancer through maintaining screening and care options for patients and their clinicians, PCC is also publishing an ongoing issue brief series focused on educating the public and key stakeholders about CRC. To request a copy of the latest issue brief, please click here.


About Preventing Colorectal Cancer (

Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, Preventing Colorectal Cancer (PCC) preserves the tradition of safe, comfortable and quality-based medicine. PCC is a not-for-profit 501(c) 6 advocacy organization with the primary mission to educate both public and private stakeholders about the opportunities to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer through promoting effective screening, prevention and care options for patients. Membership is open to all individuals and groups.

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