9 Recent Gastroenterologist Moves
28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ With October being national breast cancer awareness month, its difficult to not be constantly reminded of thinking pink with the great job the organizations and survivors do in promoting this awareness message. That awareness has been exponentially increased with the celebrity and sports relationships as well. For example, professional and college football players are wearing pink equipment during nationally televised games to raise awareness in October. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131028/PH04834LOGO ) In the U.S., 72% of women report being up-to-date on their breast health screenings whileonly a little more than half could say the same about colon cancer screenings.  Its a shocking statistic given the success we are having with colorectal cancer screenings and being able to remove precancerous polyps before they turn into cancer. On average, more than 140,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually and over 50,000 die because of this cancer each year. Some of this variance can be attributed to the national breast cancer awareness month campaign starting in 1985, while the colon cancer awareness month campaign was not initiated until 2000. In addition to the 15-year head start, breast cancer has been made more accessible to the medically underserved in the U.S. through programs like the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both assist with free screenings or matching funds to lower the cost of getting screened for breast cancer. Barriers to Colorectal Screening According to Matthew Eidem, M.D., who is a board-certified gastroenterologist in Plano TX and a member of the largest gastroenterology group (Digestive Health Associates of Texas) in North America, its important to continually stress the importance of health maintenance roles such as colon cancer screening to patients. However, there is several challenges physicians face in getting the colon cancer screening participation rates higher. A few of the challenges are: Patient awareness and education Varying insurance reimbursements rates amongst states in the U.S. Availability of programs to educate and financially assist the medically underserved As physicians we need to increase our patients awareness to practicing preventive health care, especially for diseases like colon cancer, where early detection can literally be the difference between life and death, said Plano TX gastroenterologist Matthew Eidem, MD . Adhering to the screening recommendations of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) can improve a patients prognosis and lead to increased treatment options for people who are diagnosed. Opportunities to Increase Colon Cancer Screening Participation In February 2013, the federal government issued an important clarification on preventive screening benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Patients with private insurance will no longer be liable for cost sharing when a pre-cancerous colon polyp is removed during screening colonoscopy. This ensures colorectal cancer screening is available to privately insured patients at no additional cost, as intended by the new healthcare law. While the specifics of the Affordable Care Act are slowly emerging, this legislation may lead to similar programs developed for breast cancer screening and increase participation rates. In addition to new legislation and needed government programs to assist with increasing colon cancer screening participation rates, there are initiatives in place currently that are leading the way towards this goal. Availability of Open Access Colonoscopy Patient education from primary care physicians Direct patient communications both reminding and educating them on the benefits of getting screened at the suggested AGA guidelines Its hopeful that collectively between the supporters of the Colon Cancer Screening awareness message we can significantly increase participation rates in the U.S., and make awareness of colorectal cancer more main stream. Campaigns such as the CDCs Screen for Life and Colon Cancer Alliances Go Blue are definitely a step in the right direction. However, it will take a combined effort from the medical community, cancer organizations and governmental support to achieve the awareness needed to reduce the death rate of colon cancer in the U.S. Click here to learn who should be screened for colorectal cancer and when. Media Contact:
West Orange Gastroenterologist Pleads Guilty to Kickbacks
Information from the US Attorney’s Office is as follows: “Green was a licensed and board-eligible gastroenterologist who operated his own medical practice in West Orange. From January 2009 through December 2011, Green agreed to take cash payments from Orange Community MRI LLC (Orange MRI) in exchange for MRIs and CAT scans he referred to the diagnostic testing facility. During his guilty plea proceeding, Green admitted to receiving cash on a per-patient basis for approximately three years. Green met with an Orange MRI representative nicknamed Kenny on Oct. 6, 2011, and Nov. 10, 2011, at Greens medical office in West Orange. On each occasion Green received an envelope with more than $800 in cash for referring patients. The anti-kickback charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for March 25, 2014. In addition to the 14 individuals convicted as a result of the investigation, 11 health care providers, including Green, have agreed to forfeit a total of $353,910 in illegal cash kickbacks. Additionally, Ashokkumar Babaria, 63, of Moorestown, N.J., Orange MRIs former medical director, agreed to forfeit his revenue from corrupt referrals, which the government estimates is in excess of $2 million. Chirag Patel, 38, of Warren, N.J., Orange MRIs former executive director, also agreed to forfeit $89,180 in corrupt gains.” Tthe U.S.
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5. Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., announced the addition of Cory Vergilio, MD, board certified gastroenterologist, to its board of trustees. 6. Eamonn M. M. Quigley, MD, past president of the American College of Gastroenterology and the World Gastroenterology Organization, joined the faculty at The Methodist Hospital in Houston as head of its gastroenterology division. 7. John I. Allen, MD, MBA, national quality adviser for Minnesota Gastroenterology in St. Paul, Minn., will assume the position of clinical chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., on April 1. 8. Robert “Chip” Williams, MD, will join the Lumberton Children’s Clinic as a pediatric gastroenterologist in mid-February. 9.
Celiac Disease: Getting to Know the Gastroenterologist
Medically reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig, MD If you suspect that you have celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue) but have not yet been diagnosed, youll need to see a gastroenterologist (GI). A gastroenterologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the digestive tract, which includes the stomach, intestines, liver, and pancreas. Your gastroenterologist will run the tests necessary to diagnose celiac disease and advise you on what to do next. Ritu Verma, MD, director of the Children’s Celiac Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the section chief of gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition, tells you what to expect from your first visit. Your First Gastroenterologist Visit: What to Expect Your first visit to a gastroenterologist will be pretty similar to a regular doctor visit, Dr. Verma explains. The GI will take a medical history and do a complete physical exam, and possibly a rectal exam if youre experiencing bloody stools. If celiac disease is suspected, the gastroenterologist will order blood tests (known as a celiac panel) to help diagnose celiac disease. It can take between three days and two weeks to receive the results, Verma says. Then the next step is to schedule an endoscopy. An endoscopy involves passing a small tube with a camera on the end of it into the mouth, through the stomach, and into the small intestine. Biopsies (tissue samples) can be taken of the small intestine to confirm the diagnosis of celiac disease. Your First Gastroenterologist Visit: How to Prepare To prepare for your first visit to the gastroenterologist: Dont change your diet. The most important thing, if you think you might have celiac disease, is to not modify your diet. If you start a gluten-free diet beforehand, celiac testing wont be accurate, Verma says.