In-office Colonoscopy Advice

May 1, 2008

Can you point us in the right direction for finding out how our gastroenterologist can perform colonoscopies in the office? We need to know the protocol, including equipment needed, in order to add this service to our office for our patients.

Question: Can you point us in the right direction for finding out how our gastroenterologist can perform colonoscopies in the office? We need to know the protocol, including equipment needed, in order to add this service to our office for our patients.

Answer: This is sort of a big question to answer, but here are some things to consider, in general:

There is a big push toward virtual or CT colonoscopy. You’ll need to decide if you want to offer this as well as or instead of regular colonoscopy. For more, see http://www.gastro.org and search on CT colonoscopy.

If you are doing traditional colonoscopy, look at your anesthesia needs and confer with your malpractice carrier.

From a business perspective, calculate how many of your patients would need the procedure, figure that a percent of them would use you, and determine what you can expect to make from offering it. Make sure your costs for equipment and staffing do not exceed what you can make. Keep in mind Medicare restrictions on how often colonoscopy can be billed.

The AGA has a large practice management effort. The MGMA also has a gastro society you can tap.