May 12, 2014 — The American College of Radiology (ACR) is accepting applications for its new ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center program, which recognizes facilities committed to providing quality screening care to patients at the highest risk for lung cancer. Lung cancer screening with the use of low-dose computed tomography (CT), along with appropriate follow-up care, significantly reduces lung cancer deaths and is cost effective compared to other major cancer screening programs.
Facilities applying for the Lung Cancer Screening Center designation must have an active ACR CT accreditation in the chest module, as well as meet specific equipment, personnel and imaging protocol requirements.
“Lung cancer screening in patients at high risk of acquiring the disease is the most effective way to identify tumors and reduce lung cancer deaths,” said Ella Kazerooni, M.D., chair of the ACR Committee on Lung Cancer Screening. “This ACR program provides for quality assurance that helps facilities consistently ensure the greatest possible lifesaving benefit from these exams and more efficiently put their patients on the path to better health.”
In December 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended screening of adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that private insurers cover all medical exams or procedures that receive a grade of “B” or higher (including CT lung cancer screening) from the USPSTF without a co-pay.
On May 1, 2014, the ACR launched the first edition of Lung-RADS, a quality assurance tool designed to standardize lung cancer screening CT reporting and management recommendations, reduce confusion in lung cancer screening CT interpretations and facilitate outcome monitoring. Future versions, already in development, will include actual images that illustrate the findings.
“The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center designation signifies to patients and payers that these lifesaving exams are provided in a safe, effective manner. Both will be looking for this quality assurance moving forward. The ACR designation is an efficient process to support robust CT lung cancer screening programs and demonstrate commitment to high-quality care,” said Bibb Allen, Jr., M.D., FACR, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors.
For more information: acr.org/Quality-Safety/Lung-Cancer-Screening-Center