March 2022 - PE GI Journal

Page 1

GI A publication dedicated to advancing GI practices and ASCs


Promote screenings during Colon Cancer Awareness Month

MARCH 2022


Opportunity to Educate



Letter | Message From the President |

Looking to the Future Understanding the changes of the GI industry and the impact of our mission


s we’ve battled COVID-19 over the The pandemic has further shown the past two years, the GI industry has importance and benefits for GI physicians been forced to find unique solutions of working with the right corporate partto patient care while providing a safe enviner. In response to the unique situations ronment for interaction. The GI issues of our the market continues to face with current patients never stopped due to the pandemic, staffing shortages and low patient volume and we were tasked with quickly adapting to due to COVID-19, a corporate partnership new safety protocols and strategies to protect offers operational excellence and clinical ourselves and our patients. As March is Colon knowledge to support efforts alongside Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to take a opportunities for financial benefits. At PE GI moment to discuss updated changes surround- Solutions, we focus on alignment of our pracing colon cancer screenings and what the GI tice and center solutions platforms with our industry has learned over the past two years. partners while leveraging our experiences In 2021, updates to guidelines by the U.S. and successes working through COVID-19 Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to help support our partnerships in real time. lowered the age to begin routine screenings Our goal is to always have the solutions from 50 to 45. With this update, it is now in place to meet the needs of GI doctors more important than ever to ensure that across their entire health continuum. Furall patients are informed of why screenings thermore, we continue to stay aligned with are key to maintaining one’s GIs through development of health. To help communicate The pandemic has services and opportunities this change, we will continue to support growth objectives to release our toolkits for our further shown the for the long term. In turn, this partners. These kits support will create a higher-quality importance and patient engagement—including patient experience at a lower benefits for GI letters to patients and cost, driving better and more referring doctors, posters physicians of work- positive outcomes. and other informational As we progress through ing with the right articles—and assist physicians 2022, one of our highest in showcasing why colorectal priorities is to listen and obtain corporate partner. cancer screenings should ongoing feedback from our GI be completed on the partners on understanding recommended schedule. the support resources, tools I also see this change as and solutions they need to a way to allow patients to improve GI patient care as well begin and maintain an ongoing as provider experiences. We discussion relating to GI health remain strategically aligned at an earlier age. All too often, through our partnerships with GI health is seen as a “one and GI physicians to meet their done” treatment when, in fact, needs and ensure that patients GI health plays a vital role in David Young, President & CEO, continue to receive the highest PE GI Solutions our overall well-being. quality GI care.

2 PE GI Journal March 2022

GI Editorial Staff Suzette Sison Editor in Chief Kelly McCormick Digital/Managing Editor Contributing Writers: Lynn Hetzler, Jake Keator, Robert Kurtz and Rachael Samonski Publishing services are provided by GLC, part of SPM group, 9911 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077, (847) 205–3000, PE GI Journal™, a free publication, is published by PE GI Solutions, 2500 York Road, Suite 300, Jamison, PA 18929. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of PE GI Solutions, PE GI Journal or the editorial staff. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: PE GI Solutions, Attn: PE GI Journal, 2500 York Road, Suite 300, Jamison, PA 18929. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of PE GI Journal contents, neither the editor nor staff can be held responsible for the accuracy of information herein, or any consequences arising from it. Advertisers assume liability and responsibility for all content (including text, illustrations and representations) of their advertisements published. Printed in the U.S.A. Copyright © 2022 by PE GI Solutions. All rights reserved. All copyright for material appearing in PE GI Journal belongs to PE GI Solutions, and/or the individual contributor/clients, and may not be reproduced without the written consent of PE GI Solutions. Reproduction in whole or in part of the contents without expressed permission is prohibited. To request reprints or the rights to reprint such as copying for general distribution, advertising or promotional purposes: Submit in writing by mail or send via email to

Find out more at or find us on

| News and events |

PE GI Solutions Centers Ranked “Best” by Newsweek Recently, four PE GI Solutions centers were recognized by Newsweek as being among America’s Best Ambulatory Surgery Centers in 2022. One PE center in Arizona and three centers in New York received the accolades. Congratulations to the following centers for this recognition! Arizona • Central Arizona Endoscopy (No. 6) New York • Carnegie Hill Endoscopy (No. 6) • Manhattan Endoscopy (No. 9) • Mount Sinai-East Side Endoscopy (No. 3)


Gastroenterology and Liver Specialists of Tidewater Integrates With Capital Digestive Care In October 2021, PE GI Solutions announced the integration of Gastroenterology and Liver Specialists of Tidewater (GLST) with its strategic partner Capital Digestive Care (CDC). The integration marks the largest-ever transaction in GI in the Mid-Atlantic region. GLST and CDC look forward to building an even stronger practice together.

Cover: This page: Yalanskyi, fonikum, DIPA

David Young Talks ASC Growth at Becker’s Annual Meeting David Young, President & CEO of PE GI Solutions, joined a panel at the Becker’s ASC Review 27th Annual Meeting in October 2021 to discuss ASC growth strategies, partnerships and more. In addition to growing ASCs, the panel also discussed recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, reimbursement trends and higher patient deductibles, among other topics.

Garden State Endoscopy Center Relocates to Mountainside, New Jersey Garden State Endoscopy Center, a partner of PE GI Solutions, relocated from Kenilworth, New Jersey, to Mountainside, New Jersey, on Sept. 27, 2021. This relocation is from a 20-year residence to a brand-new facility. The new facility is approximately 12,000 sq. ft., and marks the 21st anniversary of Garden State Endoscopy’s inception in October. PE GI Solutions congratulates the team on its exciting new space!

Learn more about the Becker’s ASC Review 27th Annual Meeting at 3 PE GI Journal

Insights | Clinical updates |

Opportunity to


Promote screenings during Colon Cancer Awareness Month


evelopments over just the past few years have created significant opportunities and challenges around colorectal cancer detection and prevention. Colon Cancer Awareness Month provides an opportunity for GI physicians to engage in meaningful discussions with patients and referral sources about colorectal cancer screening, recommendations and best practices—the kinds of discussions that can save lives, says Amiee Mingus, Vice President of Clinical Operations at PE GI Solutions.

4 PE GI Journal March 2022

Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, according to research published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. As the American Cancer Society (ACS) notes, when colorectal cancer is found at an early stage before it has spread, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 90%. Unfortunately, only about 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are discovered at this early stage, and about 1 in 3 people in the United States who should get tested for colorectal cancer have never been screened.

There is a 90% survival rate from colorectal cancer when it is caught early. Only 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are caught early.

1 in 3 Americans due for

colorectal cancer screening have not been screened. “Colorectal cancer is largely preventable,” says Mingus. “You can’t say that about every cancer. It’s imperative that we do all we can to help get patients the screening they need that can lead to early identification and treatment of colorectal cancer.”

45 Is the New 50 for Screening One of the most noteworthy developments concerning colorectal cancer screening in quite some time occurred in May 2021. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued new recommendations for colorectal cancer stating that people at average risk should start screening at age 45 instead of the traditional 50. The

recommendations came about three years after the ACS issued a similar guideline. These recommendations come at a time when colorectal cancer is rising rapidly among young adults. Data reported in CA, which tracked the incidence of colorectal cancer from 2011 to 2016, revealed an up to 2% per year increase in colorectal cancer among people under 50 and a decline in the colon cancer survival rate among younger adults. “It’s very important for people to recognize that colorectal cancer is not an ‘old person’s disease,’” Mingus says. “The fact that the age was lowered by ACS and USPSTF is an indication to younger adults that they need to be paying attention. Colorectal cancer is showing up a lot more in the younger population, but management is possible if you do something about it before it becomes a problem.” The Affordable Care Act requires most insurers to cover the costs of colorectal cancer screening tests as per the recommendations of USPSTF. Unfortunately, Mingus says, many patients and physicians do not know about the new recommendations and expanded coverage. To help build awareness, she says GI physicians can reach out to their referral sources and provide the current information. “Primary care providers need to make sure their patients are aware of USPSTF’s recommendations and the reasoning behind them. Undergoing a screening at this earlier age can have such a significant impact,” Mingus says. “These providers should also be reminding % patients that they do not need to wait until 45 to have a screening. People who are at a higher risk of colorectal cancer or those who have symptoms associated with colorectal cancer may benefit from undergoing a colonoscopy sooner.”

From 2011– 2016, there was a 2 per year increase in colorectal cancer for people under 50 years old.

Colonoscopy as the “Gold Standard” When communicating with referral sources, GI physicians should consider broaching another topic: alternatives to colonoscopy that are now available, including at-home

5 PE GI Journal

Insights | Clinical updates | screening products. While these products can serve a purpose, they have some significant shortcomings that physicians and patients should understand. “These tests often have a difficult time detecting a precancerous polyp and cannot be used to treat a precancerous polyp,” Mingus says. “If something is detected by the test, a patient is going to need to undergo a colonoscopy any“Providers should … be way. In addition, if a patient uses one of the alternatives reminding patients and the test determines the that they do not need patient should undergo a colonoscopy, an insurance to wait until 45 to company isn’t likely to consider that colonoscopy have a screening.” a screening procedure any – Amiee Mingus, Vice longer. This means the President of Clinical Operations patient may be subjected to at PE GI Solutions their deductible and copay.”

Catching Up From COVID

While outreach by GI physicians to referral sources will help ensure new patients undergo the colonoscopies they need for early detection of colorectal cancer, another type of outreach is also essential. “We’ve seen some delays with screenings due to COVID-19,” Mingus says. “GI physicians need to make sure no patients who had their screening postponed over the past two years have fallen through the cracks.” Colorectal screening delays are expected to contribute to delays in diagnoses, stage progression for those with undiagnosed cancer and increased colorectal cancer mortality. “When the statistics related to screenings that have been put off because of COVID-19 are published, we can unfortunately expect to see a bump up in colon cancer,” Mingus says. A study out of Spain that compared data from the first year of the pandemic with data from the previous year found that there was a more than 40% decline in colon cancer diagnoses and 27% fewer colonoscopies were performed. The researchers noted that although the study concerned 1.3 million people in Spain, % other countries heavily affected by the coronavirus that had colon cancer screenings stopped and postponed were likely It makes clinical and financial sense, to see a similar impact. Mingus says, to steer patients toward colo“Patients must undernoscopies over the alternatives, especially stand that it’s still very for those whose procedure will be covered important to take care by insurance. “Colonoscopy is the ‘gold of their health in ways standard’ because it’s the only way you can that go beyond the detect and treat in one procedure,” she says. pandemic,” Mingus says. Amiee Mingus “If someone is absolutely against undergoing “Just as they have protected is Vice President of Clinical a colonoscopy, the alternatives are better themselves from COVID-19 Operations at than nothing. We want everyone to get by wearing masks, distancing PE GI Solutions. screened one way or the other. But providand getting vaccines, patients She can be ers have a responsibility to let their patients should protect themselves by reached at know about the risks and failure rates of the receiving preventive services amingus@ alternatives to colonoscopy.” like colonoscopies.”

Due to the pandemic, there was a 40% decline in colon cancer diagnoses.


6 PE GI Journal March 2022 Productions

fewer colonoscopies were performed during the first year of the pandemic.

| Community outreach |



A Q&A with the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)

the GI Industry

involvement in the latest practice information GI community? with extensive resources, and we provide state-of-the-art ASGE: ASGE recently education and hands-on ASGE: We have been the launched its next five-year training to advance in their global leader in advancing strategic plan with clearly profession across their career the field of GI endoscopy defined goals and nine span. With almost 15,000 for more than 80 years. strategic priorities. This plan members worldwide, ASGE We developed the highest identified priority areas for provides a diverse commustandards for general and Goals 2022, which include emphanity for members to build advanced gastrointestinal sis on enhancing diversity, their networks and share endoscopic practice and ASGE equity and inclusion, explorinformation and learnings. fostered research to ASGE is the global leader in state-of-the-art, quality endoscopy education, training, research and advocacy with an ingorganizational new education delivery Weasalso offeritaserves. collective encourage continuous membership that is as diverse the patients models and curricula, and a voice in influencing regulation innovation, with the MEMBERS focus on innovation. and legislation that affect ultimate goal of enhancing ASGE is the home of and advocate for endoscopists and their professional teams for the lifespan of their careers. gastroenterologists. patient safety and quality What are the benefits of care. It is because of this PATIENTS Can you provide commitment tohealth patients ofASGE a membership with are patients’ and member endoscopists most trusted source of insight accurate and inclusive gastrointestinal care information and medical care. that ASGE shares the on ASGE’s activism in ASGE? message that colorectal promoting screenings ENDOSCOPY ECOSYSTEM cancer can be not just ASGE: We keep our memand preventive care All relevant stakeholders look to ASGE as the premier source for endoscopic training, research and innovation, patient bers on the of the detected, but prevented and your overall education andforefront best practices. What are your top priorities for 2022?

Five-Year Strategic Plan

Source: ASGE

New memberships types

Emerging technologies

Health advocacy and practice management

Curricula/pathways expansion

High quality, evidence-based guidelines


New educational delivery models

3 2

Culture of inclusion




Industry support


Nine Strategic Priorities


International expansion


2022 Priorities

with colonoscopy, through

Can you provide insight on the colonoscopy campaign you have running? ASGE: We need to constantly remind the public about the importance of colorectal cancer screening and how this can prevent cancer and save lives. This message is more important than ever as people have delayed screening due to the pandemic. We want to amplify the message that routine screening is safe and that choosing the right screening method for your risk group is critical. The Value of Colonoscopy campaign is to raise awareness among primary care patients and the general public, equipping them with easy-to-understand and easy-to-use resources on the importance of early screening and the value of various screening methods for high-risk groups and in underserved communities.

Learn more about ASGE at 7

1. Develop a strategy to increase gender, racial and ethnic diversity in ASGE’s membership, leadership and programming within a culture

4. Create mechanisms to support development and adoption of emerging technologies.

7. Continue to develop high quality, evidence-based guidelines to enhance payor coverage for emerging diagnostic and

PE GI Journal


2500 York Road, Suite 300 Jamison, PA 18929


Submit Your CV Join PE GI Solutions’ extensive network of physicians solely focused on the GI community. PHE-020

Your Professional Home for Everything GI Endoscopy ASGE is the catalyst to build your network and enhance your expertise. Join almost 15,000 gastrointestinal endoscopists worldwide and explore the value of ASGE membership. The Latest Science and Innovations • GIE and VideoGIE journals • Journal Scan, SCOPE, Practical Solutions and Daily Digest newsletters • Clinical guidelines • Technology reviews

Practical Solutions • Data-driven decision making tools • GI-specific coding and reimbursement resources • Quality and safety tools • Compliance guidance

World-class Education • In-person, livestream and on-demand learning • Thursday Night Lights webinars • Free and discounted content on GI Leap • Clinical video tips

Build Your Network • Special Interest Groups (SIGs) • Mentorship program • Leadership development • Volunteer opportunities Advocacy and Awareness • Legislative and regulatory advocacy • Payment advocacy • Patient advocacy • Maintenance of Certification reform

Join today: