Laboratory Question for the Week of June 20, 2016

Laboratory Compliance Question of the Week

Question:

What colorectal cancer screening tests does Medicare cover?

Answer:

Medicare Part B covers one annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every 12 months for beneficiaries aged 50 years and older. Specifically, at least 11 months must have passed following the month in which the last covered screening FOBT was performed. This screening requires a written order from the beneficiary’s attending physician. 

Medicare also covers:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Screening colonoscopy for persons at average risk for colorectal cancer every 10 years, or for persons at high risk for colorectal cancer every two years
  • Barium enema every four years as an alternative to flexible sigmoidoscopy or every two years as an alternative to colonoscopy for persons at high risk for colorectal cancer
  • Other appropriate procedures as determined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.