Virtual colonoscopy is a non-invasive method for screening the colon that can be very expensive if not covered by insurance.   Now Medicare has announced it has decided not to cover the exam.  A statement provided by the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services said the evidence is inadequate to conclude c-t colonography, or virtual colonoscopy, is an appropriate cancer screening test.

Virtual colonoscopy uses scans of the colon to detect cancerous lesions, rather than cameras that are guided through the colon.  If a lesion is detected the patient would need a traditional colonoscopy.  Experts with the American Cancer Society say they are disappointed in this decision, adding virtual colonoscopy provides an additional screening option for the disease.

Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society stated that, “The American Cancer Society still believes that a battery of different tests for colorectal cancer screening should be available to the American people. This includes optical colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, stool blood testing, as well as sigmoidoscopy.”