Title: Predictors of CT colonography utilization among asymptomatic medicare beneficiaries
Country: United States
Age: Adult Only
Sex: All Sexes
Population: Multiple Groups
Care Setting: Outpatient Ambulatory and Primary Care
Clinical Setting: Colorectal Cancer Screening
Data Level: National
Data Type: Medicare Data
Data Source: Medicare Outpatient and Carrier files
Conclusion: Disparities In All Minority Groups
Health OutComes Reported: No
Free Text Conclusion: Among asymptomatic patients, Black, Asian, and Hispanic patients were less likely to utilize CT colonography than White patients.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) denied coverage for screening computed tomography colonography (CTC) in March 2009, little is understood about whether CTC was targeted to the appropriate patient population prior to this decision. OBJECTIVE: Evaluate patient characteristics and known relative clinical indications for screening CTC among patients who received CTC compared to optical colonoscopy (OC). DESIGN/PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional study of all 10,538 asymptomatic Medicare beneficiaries who underwent CTC between January 2007 and December 2008, compared to a cohort of 160,113 asymptomatic beneficiaries who underwent OC, matched on county of residence and year of examination. MAIN MEASURES: Patient characteristics and known relative appropriate and inappropriate clinical indications for screening CTC. KEY RESULTS: CTC utilization was higher among women, patients > 65 years of age, white patients, and those with household income > 75 % (p = 0.001). Patients with relatively appropriate clinical indications for screening CTC were more likely to undergo CTC than OC including presumed incomplete OC (OR 80.7, 95 % CI 76.01-85.63); sedation risk (OR 1.11, 95 % CI 1.05-1.17); and chronic anticoagulation risk (OR 1.46, 95 % CI 1.38-1.54), after adjusting for patient characteristics and known clinical indications. Conversely, patients undergoing high-risk screening, an inappropriate indication, were less likely to receive CTC (OR 0.4, 95 % CI 0.37-0.42). Overall, 83 % of asymptomatic patients referred to CTC had at least one clinical indication relatively appropriate for CTC (8,772/10,538). CONCLUSION: During the 2 years preceding CMS denial for screening, CTC was targeted to asymptomatic patients with relatively appropriate clinical indications for CTC/not receiving OC. However, CTC utilization was lower among certain demographic groups, including minority patients. These findings raise the possibility that future coverage of screening CTC might exacerbate disparities in colorectal cancer screening while increasing overall screening rates.