Olympus says CMS recently took a significant step forward to boost colorectal cancer care in the U.S.
CMS, on Nov. 1, announced that it will eliminate Medicare cost-sharing for a follow-up colonoscopy after an at-home stool test returns a positive result. Defining such colonoscopies as preventative services means that Medicare beneficiaries will no longer have out-of-pocket costs for both tests.
Medicare has also reduced the minimum age for colorectal cancer screening from 50 to 45 years.
“These rule changes represent a significant step toward improving colorectal cancer care and expanding access to preventive screenings,” said Paul Skodny, executive director of Global Health Economics & Market Access at Olympus Corp. of America.
“The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) considers colonoscopy the gold standard for screening, but the procedure may not be readily available to everyone. That’s why it’s so important to support colon cancer screening and detection by eliminating cost-sharing, such as co-pays, when an at-home test reveals the need for a follow-up colonoscopy,” Skodny said in a news release.
In addition, the Calendar Year 2023 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) from CMS and HHS made it easier for Medicare beneficiaries to get behavioral health services, including opioid use disorder treatment. Also, the PFH expands and enhances the Accountable Care Organization program in the U.S. and expands dental coverage.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to expanding access to vital prevention and treatment services,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Providing whole person support and services through Medicare will improve health and wellbeing for millions of Americans and even save lives.”