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New Study Answers CMS/USPSTF Concerns for CT Colonography Screening Reimbursement: It is a Viable Option for the Medicare-Aged Population
Date:7/16/2012

STONY BROOK, N.Y., July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Viatronix Incorporated announced today that the stage finally appears set for a reversal of the May 2009 non-coverage decision for screening CTC by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The latest CTC study, "CT Colonography of a Medicare-Aged Population: Outcomes Observed in an Analysis of More Than 1400 Patients" (American Journal of Roentgenology, AJR2012; 199:W27-W34), provides overwhelming 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 U.S. and another 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed. Colorectal Cancer is more than 90% preventable through early screening, yet only 50-60% 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. 

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