Publications & Research

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

Purpose: To compare the Medicare population cost of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening of average risk individuals by CT colonography (CTC) vs. optical colonoscopy (OC).

Methods: The authors usedMedicare 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.

Results: 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. Conclusion: CTC is a cost-effective CRC screening option for the Medicare population and will likely reduce Medicare expenditures for CRC screening.

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