News | Colonoscopy Systems | June 16, 2016

USPSTF Approves CT Colonoscopy for Colorectal Cancer Screening

Virtual colonoscopy coverage will make more widespread CRC screening a reality

USPSTF, colorectal cancer screening, CT, virtual colonoscopy, final recommendations

June 16, 2016 — Final United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) colorectal cancer screening recommendations assigned an “A” grade to colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in those ages 50-75 years and provided a list of recognized screening exams. The Affordable Care Act would now require private insurers to fully cover (with no co-pay) all of these USPSTF-recognized CRC screening exams – including computed tomography (CT) colonography (virtual colonoscopy). Medicare should now recognize this overall “A” grade and provide full coverage for CT colonography.

“As the USPSTF agreed, the best test is one that patients will actually use. A third of those who should be screened for colorectal cancer still choose not to be tested. Patients need more fully-covered screening options if we are going to reduce colorectal cancer deaths. Private insurers and Medicare should now fully cover virtual colonoscopy and the other USPSTF-recognized exams,” said William T. Thorwarth, M.D., FACR, chief executive officer of the American College of Radiology. 

Virtual colonoscopy is an American Cancer Society-recommended screening exam that has been shown in studies in the United States and abroad to increase screening rates where offered. Virtual colonoscopy has been proven comparably accurate to colonoscopy in most people of screening age — including those ages 65 and older. President Obama received a virtual colonoscopy in his first checkup as Commander-in-Chief.

A recent major study shows that screening Medicare patients with CT colonography would reduce CRC screening costs by 29 percent and save Medicare up to $1.7 billion per screening cycle. CIGNA, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and many other insurers cover screening virtual colonoscopy. More than 20 states require insurers to cover these exams. Today’s USPSTF recommendations, under the Affordable Care Act, would now require all private insurers who take part in insurance exchanges to cover beneficiaries for CTC and the other USPSTF-recognized tests.

“Mandatory insurance coverage of CT colonography and the other USPSTF-recognized exams is a major step forward in the battle against colorectal cancer. Medicare coverage for CT colonography would remove a financial barrier to this screening and enable more seniors to be screened. This would help prevent many cancers, find more cancers before they progress and save thousands of people who might otherwise die from a disease that is often preventable. Medicare needs to follow through on this USPSTF “A” grading for the USPSTF-recognized exams,” said Judy Yee, M.D., chair of the American College of Radiology Colon Cancer Committee. 

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 134,000 people will develop colorectal cancer in 2016. More than 49,000 will die of the disease.

For more information: www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org

Related Content

Largest case series (n=30) to date yields high frequency (77%) of negative chest CT findings among pediatric patients (10 months-18 years) with COVID-19, while also suggesting common findings in subset of children with positive CT findings

A and B, Unenhanced chest CT scans show minimal GGOs (right lower and left upper lobes) (arrows) and no consolidation. Only two lobes were affected, and CT findings were assigned CT severity score of 2. Image courtesy of American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR)

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | May 29, 2020
May 29, 2020 — An investigation published open-access in the ...
The paradox is that COVID-19 has manifested the critical need for exactly what the rules require: advancement of interoperability and digital online access to clinical data and imaging, at scale, for care coordination and infection control.

The paradox is that COVID-19 has manifested the critical need for exactly what the rules require: advancement of interoperability and digital online access to clinical data and imaging, at scale, for care coordination and infection control. Getty Images

Feature | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | May 28, 2020 | By Matthew A. Michela
One year after being proposed, federal rules to advance interoperability in healthcare and create easier access for p
The opportunity to converge the silos of data into a cross-functional analysis can provide immense value during the COVID-19 outbreak and in the future

Getty Images

Feature | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | May 28, 2020 | By Jeff Vachon
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic normal
Off-site imaging companies are playing a key role in the fight against COVID-19
Feature | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | May 26, 2020 | By Sean Zahniser
After the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has pas
Actionable insight “beyond the diagnosis” enables health researchers to better understand COVID-19 progression, intervention effectiveness, and impacts on healthcare system
News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | May 20, 2020
May 20, 2020 — Change Healthcare introduced ...