publication date: Oct. 3, 2014


Past Coverage of LDCT Lung Screening

photoWith a “B” from USPSTF, Low-dose CT Screening For Lung Cancer Earns Coverage Under ACA

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force gave a “B” rating to screening for lung cancer.
Low-dose computed tomography screening of people between the ages of 55 and 80 who have a 30-pack-year history of smoking reduces both lung cancer and all-cause mortality, the task force determined.
The draft recommendation is posted for public comment on the website of the independent panel that relies on highly-structured, pre-specified analysis to evaluate preventive services, including cancer screening.

LeFevre: Lung Screening Can Save More Lives With Fewer Screens than Mammography

The Cancer Letter asked Michael LeFevre, co-vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, to explain the lung cancer screening recommendation.
LeFevre, professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, spoke with Paul Goldberg, editor and publisher of The Cancer Letter.

The National Lung Screening Trial at a Glance

A summary designed by NCI to help doctors and patients decide whether CT screening is for them

photoTask Force Issues Guideline on LDCT Lung Screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its final recommendation statement on screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography.

Annual LDCT screening can reduce lung cancer mortality of high-risk persons 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 16-member task force determined.

The Dec. 31 recommendation retains its “B” grade, which is likely to alter the practice of medicine, boosting the utilization of CT screening and follow-up procedures.

Does a B from USPSTF Guarantee Coverage? Lung Screening will Define Medicare Stance

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is facing the formidable challenge of deciding what kinds of patients should be screened for lung cancer.

The agency’s Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee will meet April 30 to decide how the positive findings of a large randomized trial and the recommendation the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force should be translated into policy.

The controversy over screening for lung cancer will demonstrate how scientific findings influence the standard of care in the new healthcare system. Under the Affordable Care Act, USPSTF grades translate into coverage mandates for private insurers.


CMS Advisors Express Low Confidence in Low-Dose CT Screening for Lung Cancer

An advisory panel for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expressed low confidence in low-dose computed tomography as a method for screening for lung cancer in the Medicare population.

Evidence is inadequate to ensure that benefits of the procedure would outweigh harms, the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee said at the hearing April 30.

Panel members gave low average confidence scores in response to two questions focusing on harms—2.22 for whether there is adequate evidence for significant benefit over harm, and 2.33 for whether harm will be minimized in the Medicare population.


Bach: LCA Center Certification Untrustworthy; CISNET Models Don’t Match

When it appeared that CT screening for lung cancer was a shoo-in for Medicare coverage, the Lung Cancer Alliance, an advocacy group, started to certify “screening centers of excellence.”

Centers all over the country received this designation from LCA and were listed on the group’s website.
However, as he prepared for a recent Medicare advisory committee meeting, Peter Bach, a pulmonologist and health systems researcher at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, checked the list of LCA-certified centers.


Steven Woolf: Why CMS Should Not Cover LDCT

National coverage for low-dose computed tomography may result in more harm than benefit to the Medicare population at this time, said Steven Woolf, a member of the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee.

Speaking at the April 30 MEDCAC hearing, Woolf said coverage would run into many implementation challenges and adherence problems—it would be unlikely that all practices would observe the strict criteria set by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the National Lung Screening Trial, he said.

Woolf is director of the Center on Society and Health, and professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health at the Virginia Commonwealth University.

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