This week Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) introduced H.R. 4165, theCT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2012, along with Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Tom Cole (R-OK). The bipartisan bill seeks to encourage colonography screening participation by providing Medicare coverage for a less invasive colonoscopy procedure.
"March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and there is no better time to ensure access to proven screening tools to prevent this deadly disease - one of the most preventable of deadly cancers when detected early," said Hall. "This bill, the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2012, would ensure coverage under Medicare for CT Colonography."
"CT Colonography is a less costly, patient friendly alternative to traditional colonoscopy exams. It is a non-invasive procedure performed with the help of a simple CT scan enabling the physician to examine the entire colon on a personal computer," Hall further stated.
"While we know that colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer, it remains the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. More than 50,000 Americans die each year from colon cancer, and one in every nineteen Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime. In addition, the healthcare system spends approximately $25-$30 billion a year solely on the treatment of colon cancer.
"Many Americans are reluctant to undergo traditional colonoscopies due to its invasive procedure. By providing Medicare coverage for patient-friendly CT Colonography exams, we can increase the number of Americans screened for colon cancer, save billions of dollars in treatment, prevent unnecessary deaths, and continue future coverage of this disease."