Doctor Christopher Chambers has been an anesthesiologist for nearly 2 decades. In that time he’s put roughly 2,000 people under during colonoscopies. “Most people feel like they have had a power nap after having an anesthetic provided” said Chambers who works at Riverside Anesthesia Associates in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County.
However a letter one of his partners recently got from Highmark Blue Shield has raised some red flags when it comes to how a colonoscopy is done. “Patients will no longer be covered for the use of a deeper level of anesthesia during the procedure” said Chambers. He said they could pay out of pocket or take the covered option which would be partial sedation, meaning they’d be awake during the colonoscopy.
“People are less likely to want to come in and have the procedure done” said Chambers. It’s that hesitance that he believes could be deadly because if you’re 50 or older getting one done could be the only thing saving you from colon cancer. “It has been one of the few cancers that has actually had a decreased mortality and that’s attributed to the early detection” said Chambers.
The letter said the changes will take effect on June 30th. We reached out to Highmark Blue Shield for a comment, but they have not gotten back to us. The proposed changes only affect patients of Highmark Blue Shield.