ANCHOR LEAD: THE CENTER FOR MEDICARE SERVICES SAYS IT WON’T PAY FOR CT BASED COLON CANCER SCREENING. ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The Center for Medicare Services has just stated that CT based colon cancer screening will not be paid for for Medicare beneficiaries. The stated reason is that there’s not enough data in the 65 plus age group to prove the technique’s value, but the action adds more fuel to the controversy over CT based colon cancer screening versus traditional colonoscopy. Bill Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, offers his opinion.
NELSON: I think right now, if you had access to colonoscopy I think the formal recommendation is that at age fifty, if you’re at average risk you should consider engaging the assistance of a gastroenterologist and consider colonoscopy-based screening. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or known genetic syndrome that predisposes you to polyps or other diseases that increase the risk of colon cancer you probably already know a gastroenterologist and you can plan a better colon cancer screening strategy. :29
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.