Lack of Coverage Still Biggest Barrier to Colorectal Cancer Screening

August 9, 2010

Most patients who have previously refused colorectal cancer screening would be willing to undergo computed tomography colonography (CTC) as long as out-of-pocket fees are reasonable, according to a new study.

A large percentage of patients who have previously refused colorectal cancer screening would be willing to undergo computed tomography colonography (CTC) as long as out-of-pocket fees are reasonable, according to research published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Noninvasive CTC, which uses CT imaging and computers to produce 2D and 3D images of the colon, is increasingly being considered for colorectal cancer screening, according to an online report. Unlike conventional colonoscopies, CTC does not require sedation.

In the study, Wendy Ho of Massachusetts General Hospital and colleagues distributed questionnaires to patients who had been offered colorectal cancer screening but were nonadherent. Participants were given an information sheet that described a CTC procedure and were asked about their willingness to undergo CTC, as well as other relevant factors such as fees.

Of the 68 patients who responded, 83% said that they would be willing to undergo a CTC study. However, 70% stated that they would not be willing to pay out-of-pocket fees if it was not covered by insurance, and “among the 30% who were willing to pay the fees, the average amount they were willing to pay (mean, $244; median, $150) was well below currently charged rates.”