As of the most recent update to TRICARE’s preventive services policies, Exact Science’s Cologuard – the most effective, non-invasive colorectal cancer screening exam – is now given first-dollar coverage for 9.4 million active-duty, reserve, and National Guard personnel, veterans, and their dependents. The revision brings TRICARE into compliance with the most recent United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) colorectal cancer screening recommendations that include Cologuard as an A-rated option for preventive care.
In August 2014, Cologuard made history when it became the first ever product to receive FDA approval and a nationwide Medicare coverage decision on the same day. Since then, Cologuard has been A-rated by the USPSTF, included in the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), and affirmed by Medicare Advantage.
Given the devastating mortality rate of late stage colorectal cancer, providing first-dollar coverage for the non-invasive, high-sensitivity Cologuard option is a crucial milestone. With clear direction from the USPSTF’s recommendations, TRICARE’s move into compliance should prove a strong signal to insurers nation-wide that first-dollar coverage for Cologuard is the clear checkmate move in the fight against the second leading cause of cancer deaths in America.
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