A joint ACG and ASGE Task Force published updated quality indicators common to all gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures and for the four major endoscopic procedures: colonoscopy, EGD, ERCP and EUS. These documents are published jointly in GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and The American Journal of Gastroenterology.
The proposed Medicare physician fee schedule for 2015 does not include payment updates for lower endoscopy, including colonoscopy, despite urging from American College of Gastroenterology, AGA and ASGE that release reimbursement changes as part of the proposed rule. CMS also proposed rules that would increase the number of quality metrics in the Physician Quality Reporting System from three to nine, add a new colonoscopy metric to the ASC Quality Reporting Program and include anesthesia in colorectal cancer screening colonoscopy. However, the rules do not include polyp removal in the definition of screening colonoscopy.
Acid reflux patients are getting relief through Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, or TIF, which many physicians are using to treat severe cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease. An EsophyX device is passed down the throat and into the stomach, allowing physicians to repair the anti-reflux barrier in a 40-minute procedure that leaves no scar.
HealthGrades' annual Hospital Quality in America Study found patients at top-rated U.S. hospitals had a 51.5% lower risk of death than hospital patients in general. The company based its evaluation on 17 procedures and diagnoses at 5,000 U.S. hospitals and said that while mortality rates generally have declined in recent years, a "quality chasm" persists.
Using capsule endoscopy, U.S. researchers were able to diagnose six cases of undetected Crohn's disease in patients who had undergone colonoscopies and other screening procedures. Capsule endoscopy allows doctors to screen areas that can't be reached by other tests, a researcher said.