July 23, 2012 — Viatronix Incorp. announced that the stage finally appears set for a reversal of the May 2009 non-coverage decision for screening CT Colongraphy (CTC) by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The latest CTC study, "CT Colonography of a Medicare-Aged Population: Outcomes Observed in an Analysis of More Than 1,400 Patients" (American Journal of Roentgenology, AJR2012; 199:W27-W34), provides good evidence that CT Colonography is an effective screening tool for colorectal cancer in the Medicare-aged population. The lack of Medicare-age specific data on CTC was the primary reason given for CMS' non-coverage decision.
This is the largest CTC study targeting the Medicare-aged population and not only answers the question of efficacy in this age group but addresses the significance of extra-colonic findings and risks of ionizing radiation in these patients, concerns also noted by CMS in their May 2009 decision. Additionally, two companion bills ("CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2012") have been introduced in the Senate (S.2265) and House of Representatives (H.R.4165) to provide Medicare recipients access to CT Colonography as a screening option.
Every year over 50,000 Americans die from colorectal cancer in the United States and another 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed. Colorectal Cancer is more than 90 percent preventable through early screening, yet only 50 to 60 percent of those people recommended for screening (generally over 50 years of age) are getting screened. People tend to shy away from the traditional optical colonoscopy for their own reasons, i.e., it's invasive, requires sedation, etc… Other studies have shown patients prefer CT Colonography when offered as an alternative for screening. Collectively the authors of this study have screened over 25,000 patients using CT Colonography.
Screening CT Colonography is currently being reimbursed by insurance carriers in approximately 30 States within the United States. This study adds to the mounting proof that CT Colonography should be added to the list of approved screening services to increase screening compliance and ultimately reduce the number of deaths from colon cancer.
For more information: www.viatronix.com