publication date: Mar. 21, 2014

Kazerooni: The Case for Broad Coverage

The Cancer Letter asked Ella Kazerooni, a professor of radiology at the University of Michigan, chair of the American College of Radiology Committee on Lung Screening, and vice chair of the lung screening panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, to lay out the rationale for a proposal for broad coverage for lung screening.

ACR is a key player in an effort to get Medicare to offer unlimited coverage for screening of current and former smokers similar to those who were enrolled in the NCI National Lung Screening Trial as well as to offer screening to other groups believed to be at high-risk of developing lung cancer.

A request for a National Coverage Determination by CMS asks the agency to limit coverage to individuals whose age and smoking history mimics those of the NLST participants and to offer payment as “coverage with evidence development,” in effect limiting availability of screening.

Kazerooni spoke with Paul Goldberg, editor and publisher of The Cancer Letter.

Paul Goldberg: It’s really quite fascinating to see how you translate the NLST into actual Medicare policy.

Ella Kazerooni: It’s a practical reality of lung cancer screening in a population.

PG: Yeah, it’s really fascinating. Are you pretty much the author of this approach?

EK: I was one of the site PIs for the NLST study, and I chair the American College of Radiology’s Committee on Lung Screening, which is trying to translate the scientific evidence into practice.

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