The following post was contributed by Judy Yee, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Colon Cancer Committee.
You may have seen the ACR press release announcing that the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recognized CT colonography among a list of colorectal cancer screening options that received an “A” rating from the government body. Under the Affordable Care Act, this means private insurers are now required to cover CTC and the other USPSTF-recognized screening options.
This is a tremendous victory for patients and the ACR, which has devoted tremendous advocacy and public relations resources to promote CTC and help make this happen.
At present, CIGNA, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and some other insurers cover screening virtual colonoscopy. More than 20 states require insurers to cover these exams. This week’s USPSTF recommendations would now effectively require all private insurers who take part in insurance exchanges to cover beneficiaries for CTC and the other USPSTF-recognized tests.
Now, we are urging Medicare – which is not bound to provide coverage under the ACA – to cover seniors for CT colonography. Those discussions will play out over the coming weeks (and months). In the meantime, I urge you to educate your patients regarding CTC using materials in the CT colonography resources section of the ACR website and at RadiologyInfo.org.
I also invite you to let us know how those efforts go using the comments section below. We are all in this together.