Outpatient Surgery Magazine

The Future of Knee Repair - February 2016 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://outpatientsurgery.uberflip.com/i/636789

Contents of this Issue


Page 39 of 164

Coding & Billing CB 4 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 A proposed bill (S. 2262) would require Medicare coverage for seniors who choose computed tomography colonography (CTC), so-called virtu- al colonoscopy, over traditional colonoscopy as a colorectal cancer screening option. Given to patients who can't or won't undergo a colonoscopy, a CT colonography is a minimally invasive imaging procedure that produces 2-D and 3-D images of the colon. It uses low-dose radiation CT scanning to obtain an interior view of the colon that is otherwise only seen with a colonoscopy. CT colonography doesn't require sedation, injections or the insertion of a camera into the colon, and the procedure takes less time than an optical colonoscopy. CT colonography can also visualize certain parts of the colon that are difficult to see during a traditional optical colonoscopy. In addition, patients can drive themselves home or return to work immediately fol- lowing their exam, which is not the case with the traditional optical colonoscopy. The American Cancer Society recommends CT colonography as a screening test for colorectal cancer, and several national insurers, including CIGNA, UnitedHealthcare and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, currently cover it, according to the American College of Radiology (ACR). However, CMS has historically refused to pay for the procedure, citing its higher cost. Patient advocacy groups say that studies show that virtual colonoscopies are comparably accurate to traditional colonoscopies in most people, though some GI groups note that they aren't as effective at catching smaller polyps. "One-third of those who should be screened for colorectal cancer can't have or won't get a colonoscopy," says Eric Hargis, chief executive office of the Colon Cancer Alliance. "CT colonog- raphy increases screening rates where offered. Medicare coverage would provide seniors with insured access to an exam that may appeal to them. This would jump-start screening, catch more cancers early and save more lives." — Kendal Gapinski • VIRTUAL REALITY Lawmakers are proposing a bill that would require CMS to cover computed tomography (CT) colonography. Will CMS Finally Pay for Virtual Colonoscopies?

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Outpatient Surgery Magazine - The Future of Knee Repair - February 2016 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine