Blog | Friday, February 13, 2009

Still doing it the hard way

Medicare is probably not going to pay for virtual colonoscopies, according to a story in today's New York Times. The agency found insufficient evidence to support the alternative technology. Not surprisingly, the endoscopic gastroenterologists cheered, while supporters of the CT scans jeered.

Who's right? Hard to say, since no one knows exactly how many more people would sign up for colonoscopies if they had access to the virtual technology. But based on the preliminary CMS decision, it looks like we won't be finding out anytime soon. The agency is accepting public comment for 30 days before making a final ruling on the subject, which experts expect to be against virtual scans.

An article and video in ACP Internist recently assessed (and offered some solutions to) the challenges of getting patients to submit to colonoscopy.