Digestive Health Blog - Expert Advice | Arshad Malik, MD
Posts for: March, 2018
Open Access Colonoscopy
An Open Access Colonoscopy allows qualifying patients in the Plano, TX area the ability to schedule a colonoscopy without having an office visit with their gastroenterologist prior to the procedure. Dr. Malik offers this option in order to make screening for colon cancer as affordable as possible and encourage a higher participation rate for those in the Plano and Dallas TX areas.
BENEFITS: Saves the patient the time and expense of an office visit prior to colonoscopy
The key to beating colon cancer is early detection. Dr. Malik encourages everyone to follow the colon cancer screening guidelines established by the American College of Gastroenterology:
- Anyone age 50 or over
- Anyone with a family history of cancer or polyps should start at age 40
- African Americans should have their first screening colonoscopy at age 45
SCREENING INFO: Visit our colonoscopy page to learn why it is the gold standard for colon cancer screening, procedure details and tips for making the prep easier!
Open Access Colonoscopy Qualifications
The main criteria to qualify for an open access colonoscopy are:
- No ACTIVE heart disease
- No breathing issues (e.g. asthma)
- Not using blood thinning medications (aspirin is ok)
Difference between Screening Colonoscopy and Diagnostic Colonoscopy
It is important to understand the difference between screening and diagnostic colonoscopies, since they can affect the cost of the colonoscopy. Patients need to discuss with their doctor how their colonoscopy will be coded (screening or diagnostic) and then confirm their financial responsibilities with their insurance provider prior to the procedure.
Screening Colonoscopy - This procedure is for those over the age of 50 with no symptoms (either past or present) and without a personal or family history of gastrointestinal disease, colon polyps, or cancer. Insurance will typically cover the cost of a screening exam once every 10 years beginning at age 50.
Diagnostic Colonoscopy - Patient has past or present history of gastrointestinal symptoms or disease, polyps, or cancer. Additionally, if the colonoscopy is performed due to physical symptoms such as rectal bleeding or pain, the procedure will be considered diagnostic. Diagnostic cancer screenings are typically not covered by insurance.
Cost of Colonoscopy in Plano, TX
Like many other medical procedures, the cost of a colonoscopy varies based on the patient’s insurance plan and whether it is a screening or diagnostic exam.
- Screening exams are typically covered by insurance
- Diagnostic exams are NOT typically covered by insurance
REMINDER: When calling to schedule a colonoscopy, remember that if you indicate the screening is needed due to symptoms… it will be coded as diagnostic.
If you are unsure of how your colonoscopy will be coded by the gastroenterologist performing the procedure, I encourage you to ask your doctor prior to the procedure to get all of your questions answered.
If you or your insurance provider should need any clarification from Dr. Malik’s office, please contact us at 972-867-0019 and we would be happy to assist.