News | June 01, 2010

ACR Urges Congress to Pass CT Colonography Screening Act

Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL)

June 2, 2010 - The American College of Radiology (ACR) announced it strongly urges Congress to pass the Virtual Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2010 (H.R. 5461), which would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide coverage of screening computed tomography colonography (CTC) to Medicare beneficiaries.

Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), with cosponsors Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), introduced the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives by on May 28, 2010.

CTC, commonly known as a virtual colonoscopy, is proven in clinical trials to be as accurate as standard colonoscopy at detecting clinically significant lesions in average risk patients. It is endorsed by the American Cancer Society as a recommended colon cancer screening test. It is recognized by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC) as an effective screening tool.

Yet, while many private health insurers, including CIGNA, UnitedHealthcare, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, cover screening and diagnostic CT colonography for their beneficiaries, Medicare will not cover the exam for our nation’s seniors.

“Colorectal cancer kills thousands of people each year unnecessarily because less than half of those who should be screened for this preventable disease choose to do so. CT colonography is a safe and effective, frontline colorectal cancer screening tool that can attract many more people to be screened for the nation’s second leading cause of cancer death and ultimately help save thousands of lives,” said John A. Patti, M.D., FACR, chair of the ACR Board of chancellors. “President Obama, who has access to the latest medical information and finest care, recently chose to be screened with CT colonography. The test works. Congress and the President need to make good on their promise to ensure that everyone has access to the same care that they have by requiring Medicare to cover seniors for CT colonography.”

CTC employs cutting-edge low dose x-ray technology to produce three-dimensional images of the colon. It is much less invasive than standard colonoscopy, which places a long tube with a camera on one end into and throughout the colon. CTC, unlike standard colonoscopy, does not require sedation so patients can return to normal daily activities immediately following the procedure.

Medicare’s denial of coverage, in effect, creates a two-tiered approach to screening coverage for this deadly and preventable disease: one for those who have private insurance (or the ability to pay out of pocket) and lesser coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. CTC coverage is mandated by at least 14 states that follow American Cancer Society screening recommendations. Medicare needs to provide coverage for seniors now.

“It’s time for all patients who want a CT colonography to be covered for this lifesaving exam. All the relevant clinical questions have been answered and the test has been shown to be attractive to those who may have previously opted not to be screened for colorectal cancer. The very facility where President Obama was screened saw a 70 percent increase in colon screenings after virtual colonoscopy was offered as an option. Medicare coverage of CT colonography will allow far wider screening for this deadly disease, find more cancers early when they are most treatable and less costly to treat, and ultimately save thousands of lives each year,” said Judy Yee, MD, chair of the ACR Colon Cancer Committee.

CTC’s minimal invasiveness and lower cost has the ability to attract far more people to be screened and ultimately save lives — particularly among minorities where screening rates have historically been low. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society released a study demonstrating that the disparity between white and non-white Medicare enrollees receiving a colonoscopy screening increased between 1995 and 2003.

“Minorities disproportionately forgo screenings. Providing Medicare patients an effective and less invasive screening tool for colorectal cancer can help overcome the disparity in colorectal care that exists in minority communities. Congress needs to act now to help minority and underserved populations gain access to this potentially life saving care,” said Dr. Patti.

For more information: and

Related Content

Report Finds Identifying Patients for Lung Cancer Screening Not So Simple
News | Lung Cancer | June 18, 2018
New findings in the current issue of The American Journal of Managed Care suggest that getting the right patients to...
Weight-Bearing CT International Study Group Hosts  Scientific Session at AOFAS Conference
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | June 15, 2018
June 15, 2018 —The Weight-Bearing CT International Study Group will host a scientific session on the benefits of weig
Florida Hospital First in State to Adopt NeuroLogica's BodyTom Elite CT
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | June 14, 2018
June 14, 2018 — NeuroLogica, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co.
Riverain Technologies Issued U.S. Patent for Vessel Suppression Technology
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | June 14, 2018
Riverain Technologies announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded the company a...
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | June 14, 2018
This is a 360 degree image from the Canon Aquilion 64-slice...
American Society of Neuroradiology Honors Peter Chang with Cornelius G. Dyke Memorial Award
News | Neuro Imaging | June 13, 2018
Peter Chang, M.D., current neuroradiology fellow at UCSF and recently recruited co-director of the UCI Center for...
NewYork-Presbyterian Expands Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit Fleet

Image courtesy of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

News | Stroke | June 11, 2018
NewYork-Presbyterian, in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the...
Latest additions to Somatom go. CT platform address advanced clinical fields and applications, including cardiology, CT-guided intervention and dual energy CT. How to lower radiation dose from Computed tomography scanners using ned technology.

Latest additions to Somatom go. CT platform address advanced clinical fields and applications, including cardiology, CT-guided intervention and dual energy CT.

Feature | Computed Tomography (CT) | June 04, 2018 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Recent studies show a rapid increase in patient radiation exposure mainly due to increased use of medical imaging, pa
Lung Decision Precision
News | Lung Cancer | June 04, 2018
For smokers and former smokers, the threat of lung cancer always lurks in the shadows.
American Cancer Society Updates Colorectal Cancer Screening Guideline
News | Colonoscopy Systems | May 30, 2018
An updated American Cancer Society guideline says colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 45 for people at...
Overlay Init