Bill would require Medicare to pay for virtual colonoscopy
Article Thumbnail ImageMarch 9, 2012 -- A bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would require Medicare payments for virtual colonoscopy screening.
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HR 4165, the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2012, was introduced on March 8 by Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Ralph Hall (R-TX). The legislation would require the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reimburse physicians for virtual colonoscopy (also known as CT colonography or CTC), a screening tool for colon cancer.

In announcing the bill's introduction, Davis cited the fact that virtual colonoscopy has been recognized as a recommended screening procedure by groups such as the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the U.S. Multisociety Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. These groups have also published guidelines for VC screening for colon cancer.

The bill's introduction drew support from the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, which said it "applauded" the legislation.

The American College of Radiology Imaging Network recently published new data from a large, multicenter study that concluded CT colonography is as effective as conventional optical colonography for Americans ages 65 years and older, supporting the value of Medicare coverage for the screening technique.