publication date: Jun. 13, 2014


By Tessa Vellek

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have another six months to decide whether to cover low-dose computed tomography screening. Yet, proponents of screening seem unwilling to take the chance that Medicare coverage would be restrictive.

To tilt the scale in their favor, they have launched two congressional sign-on letters to CMS.

Spearheaded by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), the Senate letter has amassed 45 signatories. The House letter, authored by Reps. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), and Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), received 134 signatories.

“Providing patients at high risk of developing lung cancer with annual low-dose CT scans has enabled radiologists and thoracic surgeons to accurately diagnose and treat early stage lung cancer and, subsequently, save more lives,” reads the House letter.

Both letters urge CMS to issue a final decision before the Feb. 25, 2015, deadline.

“We are writing to urge that the Medicare National Coverage Determination for low-dose computed tomography scans for Medicare beneficiaries with a high risk of developing lung cancer can be completely expeditiously,” reads the Senate letter. “With the median age of lung cancer diagnosis being age 70, it is essential that seniors on Medicare have access to this screening tool.”

This political action is orchestrated by the Lung Cancer Alliance and professional groups that would be expected to perform the screening. These include the American College of Radiology and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

LCA has been a longtime supporter of lung cancer screening, … Continue reading 40-24 LDCT Proponents Lobby Congress To Push for Medicare Coverage

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