MITA Applauds Introduction of Senate Legislation to Cover CT Colonography for Medicare Beneficiaries, Calls for National Coverage Decision

Data show CT Colonography effective in identifying colorectal cancers in seniors and increasing screening in most-at-risk populations.

Washington, DC, October 01, 2018 --( The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) applauds Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for introducing the “CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act,” (S.3465) which would provide Medicare coverage for a colon cancer screening test performed via computed tomography (CT). Sometimes referred to as “virtual colonoscopy,” the test offers a non-invasive surveillance method for the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

“MITA is pleased that Sens. Sanders and Inhofe are seeking to expand access to CT colonography, which will almost certainly save lives if appropriately covered and utilized,” said Joe Robinson, Chairman of the MITA Board of Directors and Senior Vice President of Health Systems Solutions at Philips. “We have long been hopeful for a national coverage decision that would make this remarkable technology more available for patients who are under screened, and therefore at risk for colorectal cancers, which are highly survivable if identified and treated early.”

Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, despite having a 90 percent cure rate when detected early. Unfortunately, one in three people are not up-to-date on screenings, and 23 million Americans have not been screened at all.

CT colonography (CTC) uses low-dose X-rays to produce three-dimensional, moving images of the colon. Compared to the traditional optical exam, CTC is less invasive and does not require sedation.

Several national studies demonstrate the value of CT colonography as an effective tool to help prevent and detect colorectal cancer in Medicare-eligible beneficiaries, particularly among the most at-risk populations.

According to a July 2018 study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, CTC-positive rates for large colorectal polyps and masses were higher in patients 65 years old or older with symptoms of colorectal cancers (CRC). A June 2018 study published in the Journal of Clinical Colorectal Cancer concluded that CTC is an effective screening modality for African-American adults and could potentially improve rates of colorectal screening in this underserved population, which is of particular importance because incidence and mortality from CRC are higher among African Americans.

The bipartisan bill has also been introduced in the U.S. House by Congressmen Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Danny Davis (D-IL).

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment manufacturers, innovators, and product developers. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for advanced medical imaging technology. Visit Follow MITA on Twitter @MITAToday.­­­­
Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance
Tracy Cullen