Even in states without colorectal cancer screening coverage requirements, most private health insurers provide coverage for colorectal screening tests.[@@]
The U.S. General Accountability Office has published figures supporting that conclusion in a report on an informal study of colorectal screening coverage practices.
Kathryn Allen, a GAO health care director, notes in the report that colon cancer and rectal cancer will kill almost 57,000 U.S. residents this year.
Doctors say most people over age 50 should receive regular colorectal screening procedures, but fewer than half of U.S. residents in that age group who were surveyed in 2002 said they had ever received any colorectal cancer screening services, Allen writes in her report.
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Doctors use 4 popular screening tests, ranging from inexpensive scans for fecal blood to high-tech colonic inspections that can cost thousands of dollars.
GAO researchers found that 20 states require private health insurers to cover colorectal screening procedures.