Feature | March 03, 2015 | Melinda Taschetta-Millane

Medicare CT Lung Cancer Screening Coverage a Victory for Patients

Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final national coverage determination, effective immediately, that provides for Medicare coverage of screening for lung cancer with low dose computed tomography (LDCT). This screening gives at-risk seniors unprecedented access to care.  

“This is the first time that Medicare has covered lung cancer screening. This is an important new Medicare preventive benefit since lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., chief medical officer and deputy administrator for innovation and quality for CMS.

Medicare will now cover lung cancer screening with LDCT once per year for Medicare beneficiaries who meet all of the following criteria:

are between 55-77, and are either current smokers or have quit
smoking within the last 15 years;

have a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 “pack years” (an average of one pack a day for 30 years); and

receive a written order from a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner that meets certain requirements.

“Medicare got this right,” stressed Laurie Fenton Ambrose, president and chief executive officer of the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA). “Screening coverage will help save thousands of seniors each year from the nation’s leading cancer killer. Screening programs can also help lower smoking rates. The process may even lead to better understanding of addiction as well as lung cancer in those who have never smoked.” 

On Feb. 5, The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) issued a statement commending CMS’ decision. “CMS has taken a bold step that can potentially reduce the lung cancer mortality of patients at highest risk for lung cancer by nearly 20 percent,” said ASTRO Chair Bruce Haffty, M.D., FASTRO. “We are grateful for the additional opportunities that annual screening provides us to save hundreds of thousands of lives from lung cancer. This year in the United States, it is estimated that nearly 230,000 men and women will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and that there will be more than 160,000 deaths from lung cancer — more deaths than from breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. This highly effective annual screening is a critical and powerful tool that will enable us to diagnose patients earlier when treatments are most effective, and it will fortify our efforts to battle this destructive disease.”

This very well could be a game changer in the battle against lung cancer. “Medicare coverage of CT lung cancer screening will help screening programs nationwide save lives,” stressed Ella Kazerooni, M.D., FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Lung Cancer Screening Committee and American College of Radiology Thoracic Imaging Panel. “If older current and former smokers and their doctors decide that screening is warranted, patients should seek out an ACR lung cancer screening center. Together, we will complete the first major blow against lung cancer.” 

For more information on CT lung cancer screening: http://bit.ly/1AzscyA

To find an ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center: http://bit.ly/1xptSFe

Lung Cancer Decision Memo: http://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/nca-decision-memo.aspx?NCAId=274

Related Content

Lunit Unveiling AI-Based Mammography Solution at RSNA 2018
News | Mammography | November 15, 2018
Medical artificial intelligence (AI) software company Lunit will be returning to the 104th Radiological Society of...
Researchers Awarded 2018 Canon Medical Systems USA/RSNA Research Grants
News | Radiology Imaging | November 13, 2018
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Research & Education (R&E) Foundation recently announced the...
The Fujifilm FCT Embrace CT System displayed for the first time at ASTRO 2018.
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | November 07, 2018
Fujifilm's first FDA-cleared compu...
MaxQ AI Receives FDA Clearance for Accipio Ix Intracranial Hemorrhage Platform
Technology | Artificial Intelligence | November 07, 2018
MaxQ AI announced that its Accipio Ix intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) detection software has received 510(k) clearance...
GE Healthcare Discovery RF Gen 2 system displayed at ASTRO 2018. It is a dedicated computed tomography (CT) scanner for radiation oncology
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | November 07, 2018
This is the GE Healthcare Discovery RF Gen 2 system displayed at the ...
Results of the vertebrae-based analysis (383 vertebrae in 34 patients) for detection of BME.

Results of the vertebrae-based analysis (383 vertebrae in 34 patients) for detection of BME.

Sponsored Content | Case Study | Computed Tomography (CT) | November 06, 2018
The following is a summary of a study published in the
The NeuViz 16 Essence from Neusoft Medical Systems.

The NeuViz 16 Essence from Neusoft Medical Systems.

Feature | Computed Tomography (CT) | November 05, 2018 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
According to an industry mark...
Carestream Spotlights Healthcare IT and Imaging Systems at RSNA 2018
News | Information Technology | October 31, 2018
Carestream announced it will be displaying several imaging and healthcare information technology (IT) offerings at the...
IMRIS, Siemens Strengthen Collaboration in Hybrid OR Neurosurgical Market
News | Hybrid OR | October 24, 2018
IMRIS, Deerfield Imaging, in partnership with Siemens Healthineers, announced a strengthened collaboration to advance...
Fujifilm Unveils FCT Embrace CT System for Oncology
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | October 23, 2018
Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. recently introduced the FCT Embrace computed tomography (CT) system. Powered by...