Abdominal imaging

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

PMID 26350285


To compare the Medicare population cost of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening of average risk individuals by CT colonography (CTC) vs. optical colonoscopy (OC). The authors used Medicare claims data, fee schedules, established protocols, and other sources to estimate CTC and OC per-screen costs, including the costs of OC referrals for a subset of CTC patients. They then modeled and compared the Medicare costs of patients who complied with CTC and OC screening recommendations and tested alternative scenarios. CTC is 29% less expensive than OC for the Medicare population in the base scenario. Although the CTC cost advantage is increased or reduced under alternative scenarios, it is always positive. CTC is a cost-effective CRC screening option for the Medicare population and will likely reduce Medicare expenditures for CRC screening.