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Hunterdon News

Advanced Gastroenterology & Nutrition Now Offering New Colon Cancer Screening Program – “Direct Access Colonoscopy”

Stethoscope draped over a laptop.
March 1, 2018


In its commitment to the prevention of colon cancer, Advanced Gastroenterology & Nutrition (AGN), with offices in Flemington, Clinton and Bridgewater, has developed a new colon cancer screening program called Direct Access Colonoscopy (DAC). By offering direct access scheduling, their hope is to encourage more patients the ease and convenience to schedule this potentially life-saving screening procedure.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S., however, it is one of the most preventable cancers and most curable when detected at an early stage. Colonoscopy remains the “Gold Standard” for colorectal screening methods for its ability to view the entire colon and both detect and remove precancerous polyps during the same procedure.

Direct Access Colonoscopy will allow the primary care physician (PCP) to refer patients to AGN’s practice without needing a full gastrointestinal specialty consultation. Direct Access Colonoscopy is appropriate for healthy patients who need a routine screening colonoscopy and who have no serious medical conditions. It is recommended for healthy individuals older than 50 years of age, individuals with a family history of colon cancer older than 40 years of age and individuals with a personal history of colon polyps.

AGN’s dedicated Colon Health Clinical Coordinator (CHCC) will review the referral information from the PCP and enroll appropriate patients for this program. (Patients not meeting the medical criteria for the Direct Access Colonoscopy program will be given an appointment with AGN to meet with gastroenterologists for a pre-colonoscopy consult.)

Once a referral is received from the PCP office, the CHCC will reach out to the patient to review the medical questionnaire and confirm eligibility, oversee patient scheduling and insurance authorization, communicate clear instructions for bowel preparation, and review educational materials and procedure consent(s).

Post colonoscopy the CHCC will report results to referring provider/PCP, patient and research database, send referrals as appropriate for cancers and/or incidental findings and schedule follow-up intervals.

The goal of this program is to work with the PCP’s in the area to help streamline the colon screening referral process for patients, while minimizing cost and inconvenience to patients who are in need of a colon screening, not a consultation.

For more information regarding the Direct Access Colonoscopy program or to schedule a screening colonoscopy, please call AGN’s registered nurse/colon health clinical coordinator at 908-237-4191.

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