A recent study of about 1,400 Medicare Plans aged patients supports CT colonography as a screening tool for colon cancer. This has contributed to the continued debate over Medicare coverage of the procedure.
The Centers for Medicare supplement guide and Medicaid Services in 2009 specified that CT colonography would not be covered, in part, because outcomes data detailed to the Medicare population did not exist. The study resolves various queries Medicare Advantage had related to this procedure according to Brooks Cash, MD, one of the authors of the study. The study established that the percentage of patients that would have been referred to colonoscopy as a result of CT colonography was 14%, which is comparable to what other studies have found in the younger population. The occurrence of neoplasia diagnosed by CT colonography was 9.3% in patients over the age of 65, which is also same as the results of other studies involving younger patients.
The evidence of low rates of referral to colonoscopy, the occurrence of advanced neoplasia and the commonness of extracolonic results makes CT colonography a practical option for Plan Part A patients.
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