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Study: 29 Percent Of Colonoscopy Patients May Have Unneeded Pre-Screening Visits
Kaiser Health News

Nearly a third of patients who get colonoscopies to screen for cancer visit a gastroenterologist before having the procedure, at an average cost of $124, even though such visits may be unnecessary, a new study found.

Primary care doctors are generally in a good position to alert their patients that they should be screened, discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with them and order the test, said Dr. Kevin Riggs, an internist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who co-authored the study, which appeared this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Such “open access” programs, which allow providers and sometimes patients to schedule the screening test without first sitting down with a gastroenterologist for a consultation, are becoming routine.

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