The Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance last week put some muscle behind its intention to get Medicare to cover virtual colonoscopy procedures.
The group applauded Rep Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Ralph Hall (R-TX) for co-sponsoring H.R. 4165, the Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2012, which requires Medicare to reimburse physicians for computed tomography colonography (CTC), a less invasive method of colon cancer screening, according to a press release.
The association representing medical device makers that stand to benefit from such reimbursements drew attention several weeks ago to a new study in the Journal Radiology showing virtual colonoscopy was just as effective as traditional methods of screening for prostate cancer.
In a statement on his web site, Rep. Davis said virtual colonoscopy has proven to save lives.
“March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and there is no better time to ensure access to proven screening tools that can help prevent this deadly disease,” Davis said.
“Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if everyone age 50 or older were screened regularly. Today less than half of all Americans age 50 and over, those at the highest risk, undergo colorectal cancer screening,” the release states.
Virtual colonoscopy has also been shown to increase screening rates, especially in populations more prone to forego testing.