LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Colonoscopies are wise, but beware of fees


Dr. Harald Schoeppner's March 18 article (Demystifying a procedure that's the butt of jokes) about what you can expect from a colonoscopy was clearly worth saving. For one thing I learned "there are no nerves present in the colon that transmit pain sensation."

Several years ago I had my first and only colonoscopy. Don't remember a thing, was driven home carrying a color photo of my healthy colon, no problems.

Because my family is affected by polyps, I was advised to have another colonoscopy in five years, and I believe it is important to do that. Recently my new doctor's nurse made me an appointment for pre-colonoscopy consultation with the gastroenterologist. I was kindly counseled and thumped, got the prep instructions and arranged to wait till fall.

In a couple of months I got a bill for $284.75 for the consultation, which I was surprised to learn was not covered by either Medicare or Blue Cross. Oh, now I remember. They didn't cover the consultation fee several years ago either and I paid it, $98.

So I called billing and asked why don't you remind us this consultation is not covered by Medicare and Blue Cross? She said they don't do that, buyer beware. So I'm chipping away at the non-covered consultation fee and I share this information with my community.

Nancy Osborn Butler
Walla Walla


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