News | May 12, 2009

Medicare Will Not Pay for "Virtual" Colonoscopy

May 12, 2009 - Medicare, the U.S. federal health insurance plan for the elderly and disabled, will not pay for virtual colonoscopies, which check for colon cancer using scans.

"Evidence is inadequate to conclude" that virtual colonoscopies, also known as CT colonography, are an appropriate colorectal cancer screening test for Medicare patients, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said Tuesday in a statement on its website.

The decision finalizes a February proposal from CMS.

Colonoscopies can detect colon cancer early, while it can still be treated or even cured, and usually involve using a camera threaded up through the rectum and into the colon. People find the procedure embarrassing and uncomfortable and some studies have shown using an external scan can be nearly as effective.

But a doctor doing a colonoscopy can also remove pre-cancerous lesions on the spot. If growths are seen using a scan, the patient must then undergo a colonoscopy anyway. Insurers rarely pay for "virtual" colonoscopies.

New Hampshire-based iCAD Inc is one company providing computer-aided detection or CT colonography equipment.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Maggie Fox; Editing by Richard Chang)

SOURCE: Reuters

Related Content

Check-Cap Announces Interim Results of European Study of C-Scan System Version 3
News | Colonoscopy Systems | September 04, 2018
Check-Cap Ltd. announced the interim results for its post-CE approval study of the C-Scan system Version 3, an...
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...
FDA Approves Updated Design for Recalled Pentax Duodenoscope
News | Colonoscopy Systems | February 08, 2018
February 8, 2018 – The U.S.
Infrared Colitis Screening Blood Test Could Reduce Dependence on Colonoscopy
News | Colonoscopy Systems | August 31, 2017
August 31, 2017 — A fast, simple blood test for ulcerative colitis using infrared spectroscopy could provide a cheape
Insurance Coverage for CT Colonography Increases Likelihood of Screening
News | Colonoscopy Systems | July 12, 2017
People with insurance policies that cover computed tomography (CT) colonography for colorectal cancer screening are...
CT colonography (CTC) allows visualization of the entire colon in one image

CT colonography (CTC) allows visualization of the entire colon in one image. Photo courtesy of Judy Yee, M.D.

Feature | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 05, 2017 | By Jeff Zagoudis
Computed tomography colonography (CTC), also known as virtual colonoscopy, offers a noninvasive alternative to...
Technology | Colonoscopy Systems | March 27, 2017
March 27, 2017 — Bracco Diagnostics Inc. announced the launch of its PROTOCO2L TOUCH Colon Insufflator.
CT colonography, patient and provider groups, Congress, screening, H.R. 1298
News | Colonoscopy Systems | March 02, 2017
Major colorectal cancer care advocacy groups and medical societies have released a statement strongly urging Congress...