Medicare cost of colorectal cancer screening: CT colonography vs. optical colonoscopy

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By Perry J. Pickhardt, Bruce S. Pyenson, Michele M. Berrios | 22 September 2015

There have been substantial changes in reimbursement and clinical practices in the treatment of colorectal cancer, and there has been additional evidence demonstrating similar efficacy of CT colonoscopy and optical colonoscopy. In this paper, the authors used Medicare claims data, fee schedules, established protocols, and other sources to estimate CT colonoscopy and optical colonoscopy per-screen costs, including the costs of optical colonoscopy referrals for a subset of colorectal cancer patients. They concluded that CT colonoscopy is a cost-effective colorectal cancer screening option for the Medicare population and will likely reduce Medicare expenditures for colorectal cancer screening.

This article was originally published in Abdominal Imaging.


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