ACG Leaders Meet First Lady Biden, Congressional Black Caucus, Patient Advocates: Highlighting National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

It was quite a busy and successful week of advocacy for ACG leaders:

  • ACG Trustee James Hobley, MD, MSc, FACG joined First Lady Jill Biden, Ed.D and Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD, FACG (LA) at the Louisiana Cancer Research Center in New Orleans, LA to highlight National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

  • Jannel Lee-Allen, MD, MUP represented ACG in Washington, D.C. at the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Healthcare Braintrust Roundtable to discuss inequities in colorectal cancer screening and the importance of partnering with local communities.

  • ACG joined patients on Capitol Hill this week as part of the Digestive Disease Coalition's (DDNC) 33rd Annual Spring Public Policy Forum. DDNC President Caroll Koscheski, MD, FACG also presented ACG's Immediate Past-President Samir A. Shah, MD, FACG with the DDNC's "Lifetime Achievement Award." ACG Governor for Western Pennsylvania Ralph McKibbin, MD, FACG also participated. ACG is grateful for its partnership with the DDNC.

UnitedHealthcare Establishes Nationwide Prior Authorization for GI Services

From the ACG Prior Authorization Task Force Chair and Vice Chair Dayna S. Early, MD, FACG and Stephen T. Amann, MD, FACG

This week ACG met with UnitedHealthcare and conveyed our frustration over United's recently announced prior authorization changes for GI services. Beginning June 1, 2023, ACG members will be required to obtain prior authorization for the following services: EGD, capsule endoscopy, diagnostic colonoscopy, and surveillance colonoscopy. Screening colonoscopy is not included in this policy.

Protecting the Patient-Provider Relationship: ACG will meet with United again in the coming days to review the clinical literature and "data on over-utilization," as mentioned in their FAQs document. It's imperative that the clinical data drive any coverage policy. Prior authorization is harming patient care, GI practices, and a key factor in physician-burnout. We have heard from our membership and know how important it is to protect the autonomy of the patient-provider relationship. The ACG Prior Authorization Task Force has focused on practical guidance and tools to immediately reduce the burdens of prior authorization, while ACG advocates for comprehensive policy reforms. Stay tuned for more guidance.

Other Important Practice News:
ACG leaders are working with Boston Scientific to ensure GI practices are aware of the company’s recall of the ORISE Gel Submucosal Lifting Agent. Boston Scientific initiated this product recall in December 2022 and continues to proactively reach out to healthcare providers and specialty societies. Please read the latest letter to healthcare providers, detailing the background of the recall as well as guidance for patients already treated with the ORISE Gel. Please also contact Boston Scientific with any questions at 763-494-1133 or