News | Colonoscopy Systems | September 27, 2018

Patient Groups and Doctors Tell Congress to Pass Medicare Virtual Colonoscopy Coverage

Advocates say coverage for seniors would help reduce racial disparities in colorectal cancer outcomes and lower screening costs

Patient Groups and Doctors Tell Congress to Pass Medicare Virtual Colonoscopy Coverage

September 27, 2018 — Colorectal cancer care advocacy groups and medical societies are calling on Congress to pass the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act (S.3465/HR 1298). The bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate September 19 would provide Medicare coverage for screening computed tomography colonography (CTC), commonly known as virtual colonoscopy.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is expected to kill 50,000 Americans in 2018. Yet at least a third of those 45 and older who should be screened for CRC choose not to be tested. Racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer screening rates and outcomes remain. Studies in the U.S. and abroad show CT colonography use significantly raises screening rates and lowers costs.

Thirty-seven states require insurance policies to cover virtual colonoscopy. Insurers who take part in federal exchanges are required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to cover the exam with no copay. Cigna, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and others cover the test irrespective of ACA requirements. However, Medicare refuses to cover seniors for this American Cancer Society-recommended exam.

“Medicare-covered access to CT colonography can attract many who would otherwise not be tested, allowing doctors to remove polyps before they become cancers and helping people prevent this deadly disease,” said Carolyn R. (“Bo”) Aldigé, CEO and founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

"Timely screening for colorectal cancer can literally save lives, but there are many patients who either cannot or will not have a colonoscopy. For these patients, CT colonography provides a less invasive alternative. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance supports the bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Inhofe that will make this screening option available through Medicare,” said Michael Sapienza, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

Latino Americans  are more likely to die from the disease than Latinos in many Central and South American countries. African Americans are far more likely to die from colorectal cancer than whites. Members of both groups are less likely to get screened. Their cancers are diagnosed at a later stage than whites.

“Medicare coverage of virtual colonoscopy can help increase screening in underserved areas and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer outcomes. All seniors should have covered access to the test that they will actually choose to have,” said Anne Carlson, president of the Colon Cancer Coalition.

“CT colonography is as accurate as standard colonoscopy in most people — including those 65 and older — and is far less invasive. Former President Obama had this test. Medicare needs to cover CT colonography and help physicians save more lives,” said Judy Yee, M.D., chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Colon Cancer Committee.

S.3465 was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators James M. Inhofe (R-OK) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The companion bill (HR 1298) was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Danny Davis (D-IL). The House bill currently has over 80 bipartisan cosponsors.

For more information: www.radiologyinfo.org/virtualct

Related Content

Mobile CT scanner reimagines head imaging of critically ill patients by enabling patients and staff to remain in ICU
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | August 05, 2020
August 5, 2020 — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the...
Imaging volumes in hospitals and practices previously slowed by the coronavirus pandemic continue to hold steady, according to new QuickPoLL survey results that gauge how radiologists feel about current business and the impact of COVID-19.
Feature | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | August 03, 2020 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Imaging volumes in hospitals and practices previously slowed by the coronavirus pandemic continue to hold steady, acc
It covers every major modality, including breast imaging/mammography, fixed and portable C-arms (cath, IR/angio, hybrid, OR), CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, radiographic fluoroscopy, ultrasound and X-ray
News | Radiology Imaging | July 29, 2020
July 29, 2020 — IMV Medical Information, part of Scien...
Left, a 3-D rendering of a heart from a cardiac CT exam. Right, a lung-CT exam showing the heart and ground glass lesions in the lungs of a COVID-19 patient. CT has become a front-line imaging modality in the COVID era because it offers both cardiac and lung information to help determine a patients disposition with chest pain, COVID-19 and COVID-caused myocarditis and pulmonary embolism. #COVID19 #CCTfirst #YesCCT

Left, a 3-D rendering of a heart from a cardiac CT exam. Right, a lung-CT exam showing the heart and ground glass lesions in the lungs of a COVID-19 patient. CT has become a front-line imaging modality in the COVID era because it offers both cardiac and lung information to help determine a patients disposition with chest pain, COVID-19 and COVID-caused myocarditis and pulmonary embolism.

Feature | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 28, 2020
July 28, 2020 — The use of cardiova...
ams Commended by United Imaging for Accelerated Supply of Unprecedented Levels of Essential CT Detectors to Fight Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2)
News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | July 28, 2020
July 28, 2020 — ams, a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, has been thanked by long-term
A cardiac CT of a patient with pacemaker leads, which can be challenging to get good images due to metal artifact. This image was rendered from using Canon's AiCE AI-assisted interactive reconstruction with Global Illumination 3-D rendering from a scan on an Aquilion One Genesis SP system.

A cardiac CT of a patient with pacemaker leads, which can be challenging to get good images due to metal artifact. This image was rendered from using Canon's AiCE AI-assisted interactive reconstruction with Global Illumination 3-D rendering from a scan on an Aquilion One Genesis SP system.

Feature | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 27, 2020
There has been tremendous growth in the field of cardiovascular...
Zebra Medical Vision announced its sixth FDA 510(k) clearance for its mammography solution, HealthMammo, which has already received a CE mark. Zebra Medical’s algorithm empowers breast radiologists by prioritizing and identifying suspicious mammograms, providing a safety net for radiologists. The suspicious mammograms are identified faster and read earlier than the current “first-in first-out” standard of care. 
News | Breast Imaging | July 27, 2020
July 26, 2020 —  Zebra Medical Vision announced its sixth FDA 510