MDs resisting Aetna colonoscopy anesthesia cuts

New Jersey doctors are up in arms over a plan by Aetna to drop coverage of the anesthesia typically used during colonoscopies. The physicians say that if Aetna doesn't cover the services of anesthesiologists needed to administer the drug, propofol, patients who fear colorectal screenings just won't get them. Aetna, for its part, said the moderate sedation--which doesn't require anesthesiologist supervision--works just as well. It objects to paying the added $200 to $1,000 per procedure needed to cover anesthesiologist supervision. As of April 1, Aetna will continue to cover moderate sedation, but limit coverage of monitored anesthesia care to patients at higher risk. The New Jersey doctors, who will meet to discuss the matter with Aetna on February 15th, say they may sue if Aetna doesn't change its mind.

To find out more about the controversy:
- read this Associated Press piece

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