Groups urge support for Virtual Colonoscopy / CT colonography coverage

Groups urge support for CT colonography coverage

By staff writers

November 11, 2015 — A coalition including the American College of Radiology (ACR) and colorectal cancer care advocacy groups is urging Congress to pass the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act (S 2262).

The legislation would allow Medicare coverage for seniors who choose the screening exam and thus remove a financial barrier to care, according to the groups.

Eric Hargis, CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance, said passage of the bill would increase screening for colorectal cancer with CT colonography. Medicare coverage would be available to seniors with insured access to the exam.

The groups cited a recent study that found that screening Medicare patients with CT colonography would cost 29% less than using optical colonoscopy and save as much as $1.7 billion per screening cycle.

Several insurance companies, including Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, and Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, currently cover screening with CT colonography, and more than 20 states require insurers to cover these exams. However, Medicare does not cover beneficiaries for CT colonography.