Advocate for Your Patients — Contact Your Local Newspaper
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month presents an opportunity for you to reach your community with the vital message that everyone age 50 and older needs to think about colorectal cancer screening. An effective method of reaching a large population of adults is through your local newspaper.
AGA has drafted an op-ed that you can have sent directly to your local newspapers through our CapWiz system. In addition to educating your community about the importance of colorectal cancer screening, the op-ed will educate patients and local lawmakers about the barriers to screening under Medicare in using colonoscopy.
AGA has been working to obtain support for a new bill introduced by Rep. Charlie Dent, R-PA — the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2012 (H.R. 4120). This legislation ensures that screening colonoscopy is free to all Medicare beneficiaries, regardless of whether a polyp or other tissue is removed. Contact your representatives online and ask him or her to cosponsor H.R. 4120. Encourage your patients to contact their representatives as well using the AGA system.
We know that colorectal cancer screening saves lives by preventing and detecting cancer early and we should be encouraging patients to be screened. This policy needs to be corrected since it not only causes confusion, but may also deter patients from getting lifesaving screenings.