The following post was contributed by William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, ACR chief executive officer.
ACR members are passionate about bringing value to patients and health care. The members of the ACR Colon Cancer Committee exemplify this passion in advocating for Medicare coverage of CT colonography (CTC) for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening.
CTC is endorsed by the American Cancer Society as a recommended screening test. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC) named CTC an effective screening tool. Studies in Europe and at national military medical centers show CTC availability increases CRC screening rates. Studies in NEJM and Radiology prove the exam comparably accurate to optical colonoscopy. Even President Obama trusted screening CTC.
However, while CTC is covered by many private payers and Tricare, Medicare has yet to cover CTC. Medicare coverage would remove a financial barrier to this lifesaving exam that is less expensive than optical colonoscopy.
We aligned with the National Medical Association, Colon Cancer Alliance, Prevent Cancer Foundation and Colon Cancer Coalition to call on Congress to pass the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act (S 2262/HR 4632).
Click here to ask your senators and representatives to support this bill (easy automated process).
You can also help increase awareness of CT colonography. Below are ACR resources to help you. Please post links to the patient materials on your websites and make patients aware of them through your social media and email communications. Also, feel free to download appropriate materials to use in your waiting rooms.
Resources for Physicians to Use to Reach Patients
- Patient brochure: English and Spanish (download and print as many as you like)
- Web article: Colonoscopies Get a Lot Easier Thanks to Technology
- RadiologyInfo.org patient information on CTC
- Private payer coverage, policies and statements, Appropriateness Criteria and more
- Virtual Colonoscopy Can Saves Lives: Learn About It, Voice of Radiology Blog post, Mark E. Klein, MD, FACR, member of the ACR Colon Cancer Committee
- Free downloadable Facebook and Twitter banners supporting CRC screening