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Kelly McCormick
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August 4, 2022

On July 7 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposal aimed to increase the ability of Americans to receive access to colorectal screenings and preventative care. The proposal, the 2023 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), came in combination with several other recommendations focused on Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), the CMS Behavioral Care Schedule, and more.

“At CMS, we are constantly striving to expand access to high quality, comprehensive health care for people served by the Medicare program,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Today’s proposals expand access to vital medical services like behavioral health care, dental care, and cancer treatment options, all while promoting access, innovation, and cost savings in the Medicare program.”

According to a CMS release, the colorectal cancer portion of its recommendations centered on allowing follow-up colonoscopies after an at-home test to be considered a preventative service. In turn, this would waive cost sharing for patients using Medicare. The release adds that this change would be especially effective for Black-Americans, American Indians, and Alaska Natives, which all saw higher than normal rates of colorectal cancer in 2020.

The recommendation also falls in line with the reduced screening age of 45 set by the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) last year.

“Integrated coordinated, whole-person care — which addresses physical health, behavioral health, and social determinants of health — is crucial for people with Medicare, especially those with complex needs,” said Dr. Meena Seshamani, CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare. “If finalized, the proposals in this rule will advance equity, lead to better care, support healthier populations, and drive smarter spending of the Medicare dollar.”

To read the release on each proposed change presented by CMS, click here.