Navigation Links
President Obama Gets Virtual Colonoscopy (CT Colonography) But Medicare Denies CTC Coverage to Seniors
Date:3/2/2010

Medicare Should Cover Screening CT Colonography for Older Americans Who Want It

WASHINGTON, March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Obama, in his first routine physical exam as commander in chief, received a CT colonography (CTC), commonly known as a virtual colonoscopy, to screen him for colorectal cancer. However, Obama Administration officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) previously denied coverage of the same exam for seniors enrolled in Medicare, cutting off access for many to an exam proven to increase compliance with nationally accepted colon cancer screening guidelines. Congress and the Administration should act now to ensure that seniors have the same access as the President to this less invasive, cutting-edge care. Patients who have delayed colorectal cancer screening should follow the President's example and look into CTC as a screening alternative.  

"CT colonography is a safe and effective, frontline colorectal cancer screening tool that can attract many more people to be screened for one of the nation's leading cancer killers. The President and his doctors have unparalleled access to the latest medical and scientific information. The fact that he opted for CTC should put to rest any empty arguments against the viability of CT colonography. It's time for all patients who want a CT colonography to be covered for this lifesaving exam. Medicare needs to provide coverage now," said James H. Thrall, MD, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors.

CT colonography employs cutting-edge x-ray technology to produce three-dimensional, fly-through images of the entire colorectal structure (colon and rectum). CTC is proven in clinical trials to be as accurate as standard colonoscopy in average risk patients. As indicated by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC), advantages include that it is much less invasive, and does not require sedation. Patients can go back to normal daily activities immediately following the procedure.

"We are pleased that the President is in good health and that he and his doctors have embraced CT colonography's ability to accurately detect colorectal cancer. The fact that the leader of the free world has chosen to be screened with this exam is a testament that CTC works as a front line colorectal cancer screening tool. People who have delayed being screened due to cost and invasiveness of standard colonoscopy should follow the President's example and ask their doctor about CT colonography," said Judy Yee, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology Colon Cancer Committee.

Many health insurers, including CIGNA, UnitedHealthcare, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield now cover screening and diagnostic CT colonography for their beneficiaries. However, Medicare patients are denied coverage for the exams. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed among men and women in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death, despite having a 90 percent cure rate when detected early. This is because less than half of those 50 and older who should be screened for the disease opt to receive the screening exams currently available. Medicare's denial of coverage, in effect, creates a two-tier coverage approach to screening coverage for this deadly disease: one for those who have private insurance and lesser coverage for Medicare beneficiaries.

"The President and many in Congress have stated repeatedly that they want all Americans to have access to the same health care options that they do. Now is the time to make good on those statements by requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cover CT colonography for Medicare patients," said Dr. Thrall.

The National Cancer Institute Colorectal Cancer Progress Review Group predicts that wider use of screening could save 20,000 lives annually. 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.

"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 and underserved communities. The President has set an example that CTC provides a viable, effective and safe alternative to optical colonoscopy. Congress needs to act require Medicare coverage for CT colonography and help minority and underserved populations gain access to this potentially lifesaving care," said Dr. Yee.

The American Cancer Society has added CT colonography to its list of recommended colorectal cancer screening exams and recommends the exam be repeated every five years. Medicare coverage of CTC would be a tremendous step forward in the battle against one of the nation's leading cancer killers.

SOURCE American College of Radiology

Back to top

RELATED LINKS
http://www.acr.org

'/>"/>

SOURCE American College of Radiology
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Landrieu Comments on Presidents Small Business Health Care Report
2. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine Applauds President, Members of Congress on Todays Bipartisan Summit
3. DNC Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Praises President Obamas Leadership on Bipartisan Health Reform Summit
4. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to Discuss TSA Bargaining Rights on Inside Government Radio Show
5. Alan Chapell, President of Chapell & Associates to Deliver Keynote at the Next AdMonsters US Leadership Forum
6. LocumTenens.com Names Lisa Kaeck Executive Vice President
7. Sensaria Names Kathy Bintz-Fertitta as New President
8. Comments by American Dental Association President Dr. Ron Tankersley on the Pew Center on the States report The Cost of Delay: State Dental Policies Fail One in Five Children
9. Ricochet PR Names Valerie Carter Vice President of Washington, D.C. Public Affairs Practice
10. Statement from Larry Minnix, President & CEO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, on President Obamas Health Care Reform Proposal
11. Pelosi Statement on President Obamas Health Insurance Reform Proposal
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/2/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... fat,” wraps itself around major organs, such as the kidneys, liver and pancreas. ... Robert Drapkin, M.D ., a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... According to an American Psychological Association ... sexually abused before the age of 18. Of those who survive, many still face ... others. , In her new book, Lyah! Lyah! Pants on Fyah!, she shares ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... , ... TeleMedCo™, a new company developing real time technology ... rapid diagnosis, triage and admission of patients leveraging IBM Watson’s software and healthcare ... the first time at GENBAND’s Perspectives16 conference. , TeleMedCo selected GENBAND’s Kandy ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh of Carolina Facial Plastics isn’t surprised that Charlotte, NC, the city where ... 5 US Cities with the Highest Plastic Rates .” The other cities that made ... calculated using a survey by RealSelf and combining that data with the number ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... For many artists, the act of blending paint is based ... a science. , Using the new, highly precise METTLER TOLEDO ML204T balance to ... and meaning to his works. What’s more, it has allowed him to recreate these ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... April 29, 2016 Acquisition ... Sciences, Product Development Capabilities in North ... Base . Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ... the acquisition of Skura Corporation,s life science business. ... adaptive sales enablement technology for life science organizations ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016  While Abbott,s announced purchase of St. ... repair and stent business, healthcare research firm Kalorama ... firmly into patient monitoring.  Kalorama said that patient ... areas, with double-digit growth expected the next 5 ... Remote Patient Monitoring . Abbott Laboratories agreed ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... insights on healthcare, announced today that it has been ... Cool Vendor in Life Sciences, 2016, ... 2016.  The report focuses on life-science- oriented analytics, algorithms ... from patients and doctors, confirm medication ingestion, and analyze ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: