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Screening Versus Diagnostic Colonoscopy

Woman’s recognizes your need for privacy and is the only location in Baton Rouge to offer each patient a private room prior to and after their colonoscopy procedure.

What is the difference between a screening colonoscopy and a diagnostic colonoscopy?

A screening, or preventive, colonoscopy is a procedure done if you do not have any symptoms; do not have a personal history of colon cancer or colon polyps; and do not have a first-degree relative with a history of colon cancer or colon polyps.

A diagnostic colonoscopy is a procedure done if you have the following symptoms: blood in stool, bleeding from rectum, iron deficiency anemia, change in bowel habits or persistent abdominal pain. If you have a personal or family history of colon cancer or colon polyps, you will likely be scheduled for a diagnostic colonoscopy rather than a screening.

What are the costs associated with a screening or diagnostic colonoscopy? 

Medicare will fully cover a screening colonoscopy – the deductible and co-insurance is waived. If you have private insurance, call your provider to determine your benefit.

Medicare will waive the deductible for a diagnostic colonoscopy. However, 20 percent co-insurance must be paid for the procedure. If you have private insurance, call your provider to determine your out-of-pocket costs.

Could I go in for a screening colonoscopy but then have to pay for a diagnostic colonoscopy?

Yes. Even if you have no symptoms, the procedure will be classified as a diagnostic colonoscopy if a polyp is found.

A screening colonoscopy is considered a preventive service. Most insurance policies cover this procedure without a co-payment or co-insurance or having to meet your deductible.