Several medical professional societies have called for national coverage for CT colonography as a screening tool for colorectal cancer, urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reimburse providers for the exam.
The American College of Radiology (ACR), in conjunction with the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists (SGR) and the Society of Computed Body Tomography-MR (SCBT-MR), has informed (CMS) that there is sufficient data and clinical evidence to support national coverage for CTC.
The joint comment letter cited the recent American Cancer Society (ACS) screening guideline, “Screening and Surveillance for Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer and Adenomatous Polyps,” released jointly with ACR and the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on colorectal cancer, which added CTC to the ACS list of recommended screening options for colorectal cancer.
The guideline concluded that there is compelling evidence to support CTC for screening for adenomatous polyps and cancers in average-risk patients over age 50.
The ACR comment letter also cited recent research which showed the viability of CTC as a screening option, including the ACR Imaging Network (ACRIN) National CTC Trial, which showed that broad application of this relatively non-invasive technique as a primary test option appears highly feasible and may serve to enhance compliance with current CTC screening recommendations.
This trial was conducted in 15 centers across the United States and included more than 2,500 patients. It was designed to determine the ability of CTC in detecting colonic polyps in an asymptomatic screening population.
The ACR said its ACRIN findings will be published in August or September of this year.