Colonoscopy just once-in-a-lifetime for some: Medicare taskforce

Bid to reduce over-screening

Patients with no bowel symptoms or family history of colon cancer will be able to have a one-off Medicare-rebatable screening colonoscopy under a new proposal by the MBS Review Taskforce.

The proposed colonoscopy items include a single, once-in-a-lifetime “exception” item for those not meeting strict new MBS criteria designed to boost compliance with evidence-based practice and reduce overscreening.

Under the plan, screening colonoscopies based on history — rather than a positive FOBT result — will be limited.

For example, Medicare would