This post was contributed by Judy Yee, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology Colon Cancer Committee.
The incidence of colorectal cancer in those under the age of 50 is on the rise. In response, the American Cancer Society recently lowered their recommended screening age from 50 to 45.
As younger generations search for more patient-centered medical options, CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) promises to attract more of these 45-50 year olds (and others) to get screened.
CTC is an American Cancer Society-recommended screening exam. It is as accurate as standard colonoscopy in most people, is less invasive and safer. CTC does not require sedation. It is over in minutes. You can go back to daily activities and you may not need someone else to accompany you and drive you home.
Largely due to ACR-led efforts, 37 states require insurance policies to cover virtual colonoscopy. Insurers that take part in federal exchanges are required by the Affordable Care Act to cover the exam with no patient cost sharing. CIGNA, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and others cover the test irrespective of ACA requirements.
This ACS move is an opportunity for radiologists to educate referring providers on how CT colonography increases screening rates and can attract these new younger patients to get tested.
I urge you to visit the ACR Colon Cancer Resources page. Use the tools and information there to show your referring providers how CT colonography can help attract their patients ages 45 and older to get screened.
These steps can help save lives.
What can the ACR do to help you with starting your CT Colonography practice?