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Patient Advocates and Mercy Hospital Partner to Encourage Colon Cancer Screenings

Mar 7, 2012

“Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States”

Portland, Maine (March 07, 2012)—The American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines for early detection of colorectal cancer suggest people should begin colon screenings at age 50. However, many are hesitant to schedule such screenings because of the inconvenience. Patient Advocates (PA), a health plan management company, has teamed up with Mercy Hospital to provide special Saturday colonoscopy screenings at Mercy Gastroenterology in South Portland on March 24.

The preparation and typical sedation for a colonoscopy can make scheduling appointments during the work week difficult. Most patients taking advantage of this opportunity will not have to take time off from work. Nurse advocates working for PA contacted patients over 50 who have no record of having a colonoscopy to fill the available screenings slots.

“Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, after lung cancer,” said James Ward, President of Patient Advocates. “Finding and removing polyps or abnormal cells early may be one of the most effective ways to prevent colorectal cancer.”

This is the second time Patient Advocates has teamed with Mercy Hospital to offer Saturday screenings for clients. In October, PA offered a Saturday mammography screening: one quarter of the clients who participated had never had their first mammogram.

“We believe that advocating for patients leads to positive results for both patients and their employers,” said Ward. Patients benefit from improved outcomes and employers benefit from the reduction in health care costs associated with early treatment. It’s a win-win situation and we hope to expand this option to other key health areas.”

About Patient Advocates
Patient Advocates LLC has been helping clients navigate the health care system since 1995. PA offers innovative patient advocacy and disease management services, award-winning wellness programs, and creative benefit plan designs with third-party administration. For information, visitwww.patientadvocatesllc.com