Number of Inappropriate Colonoscopies Significant in Texas

April 12, 2013

About one-quarter of Medicare patients may be undergoing inappropriate colonoscopy screening, according to a new study. Details here.

About one-quarter of Medicare patients may be undergoing inappropriate colonoscopy screening, according to the results of a study published recently in JAMA: Internal Medicine. Specifically, the study found that surgeons, graduates of US medical schools, medical school graduates before 1990, and higher-volume colonoscopists had a higher than average number of inappropriate colonoscopies performed.

The study looked at Medicare claims data for Texas and a 5% sample of Medicare patients from the US from 2000 to 2009. All patients were 70 years or older. An inappropriate colonoscopy was defined by patient age or timing that was too close to last colonoscopy.

About 23% of older adults in Texas and from the US sample were potentially inappropriately screened, the study indicated. When the data were grouped into age ranges, the researchers saw that about 10% of colonoscopies in patients aged 70 to 75 years were likely inappropriate; 39% for patients aged 76 to 85; and 25% in patients aged 86 years or older.

More information on the study, Potentially Inappropriate Screening Colonoscopy in Medicare Patients, can be found here.