The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) issued a statement supporting H.R. 4165, CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2012, which would require Medicare to reimburse physicians for virtual colonoscopy.
The legislation was introduced on March 8 by Congressmen Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) and Ralph M. Hall (R-Texas).
Access to virtual colonography increases compliance in patients who would otherwise avoid colorectal cancer screening, according to MITA, which cited research showing 40 percent of patients would choose virtual colonoscopy if given the option.
MITA also cited a recent study published in Radiology which compared virtual colonoscopy to conventional colonoscopy. That study showed virtual colonoscopy is just as effective as the conventional procedure for Americans aged 65 and older.
Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., but has a 90 percent cure rate if detected early. More than half of U.S. states mandate insurance coverage for colorectal cancer screening; coverage is not required on a national level.