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Aetna Policy Change/Colonoscopies

Posts: 109
Joined: Feb 2006

I am just appauled and mad. Todays headlines news is. Aetna doesn't believe that patient comfort during a colonoscopy is "medically necessary" anymore,some medical professionals say.

Come April 1, the insurance giant no longer will cover an anesthesiologist or anesthetist to administer deep sedation for the average patient during endoscopic procedures,whereby the patient doesn't remember or feel anything. This means 1.2 million members just in FLorida,will only have the use of conscious sedation.

This means that patients will feel some discomfort during the colorectal cancer screeing procedure, if the are willing to go forward.Covering only conscious sedation for the average colonoscopy patient harks back to the standard of care 20 years ago. I guess that Aetna would rather pay for chemo treatments rather than a routine colonscopy. This is what I view as putting the patient last.

I know in my heart that my husbands colonoscopy is why he is with us today, we are trying to stop this disease thru routine checkups and are now being denied. Let me see the CEO of Aetna go get a colonoscopy without sedation (Ouch).

THanks for listening, just needed to vent


Joy1216's picture
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

Don't be concerned over the term "conscious sedation." I received conscious sedation for each of my three colonoscopies and I didn't feel a thing. My last one was in October. All I remember is feeling warm for a couple of seconds when the anesthesia was administered. The next thing I knew was when I woke up. One of my friends is a nurse and she says they give you something to make you forget the procedure. Hope this makes you feel better.

Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005


I first read about this in reference to another insurer (don't remember which one). I, too, was disturbed at first. Then upon reading further I learned they were not referring to the "usual" meds I receive during colonoscopy, but another one which is typically administered by an anesthesiologist. I'm hoping I read it correctly!


valeriec's picture
Posts: 350
Joined: Oct 2006

I agree with Joy. Don't be too concerned with conscious sedation. My husband was just scoped yesturday with "conscious sedation." He didn't remember a thing:)
He did not have colonoscopy, he had endoscope. They are checking for Barretts(sp)

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I had only conscious sedation, even for my first scope where the doc slid by my 2" tumor on my rectum. She said I called out from the pain, but I remember nothing. I was already in constant pain, anyway. My other scopes have been with no discomfort at all (well, during anyway...the prep is STILL heck for me...lol!). I know a few brave souls that have them with NO sedation at all...Whew~

Hugs, kathi

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

Due to me being DX with colon cancer at 42 yrs old required my 24 year old son to get a colonoscopy (he did not like that) and he has Aetna. He had his done by my surgeon which performs them in the hospital requiring an anesthesiologist. My GI doc using the conscious sedation which is fine with me. I don't remember the procedure at all and I feel like I was completely put out.

Luckily my son does not require another one until 5 yrs, so I don't know which way he will go.

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