The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently recommended an update to lung cancer screening guidelines, with screening being performed through a low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) exam.

According to the medical imaging community website, Aunt Minnie, “The move would bring Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement in line with recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which itself lowered its recommended starting age for screening earlier this year.” The USPSTF recommended lowering the starting age for screening earlier in 2021, recommending screenings to start at age 50. The current policy is for screenings to start at age 55.

Other proposed guidance includes qualified people have a smoking history of 20 pack years. Previously, the guidance called for 30 pack years. Aunt Minnie lists CMS additional recommendations as:

  • If individuals are asymptomatic
  • If a person is a current smoker or has quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • If he or she has been referred by their provider for low-dose CT lung cancer screening

The CMS update to their screening guideline means that that payment for lung cancer screenings for people with covering under Medicare would being at age 50. With many different types of Medicare health insurance coverage plans, Capitol Imaging Services always recommends checking with a Medicare benefits advisor to confirm coverage.

Lung cancer screening uses Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT), which is a CT scan with a minimal dose of radiation, to find lung nodules, some of which may be cancer. People who take part in screening can lower their chances of dying from lung cancer.

Screening means testing for a disease when there are no symptoms or history of that disease. Doctors recommend a screening test to find a disease early, when treatment may work better. In general, lung cancer screening is not a single test but a process that must be done correctly under the direction of your doctor(s).

Click here to learn more about CT lung cancer screening performed at select Capitol lmaging Services locations.

Capitol Imaging Services is the largest independent radiology practice of its type serving the Southeastern United States. Not only do we perform the scan, such as a CT, we provide the radiology expertise to review test images and report critical findings to doctors and other healthcare providers.

Capitol Imaging Services also often lowers out of pocket costs by performing our exams at lower fees. For people with unfulfilled health insurance deductibles, that’s a major financial advantage, an advantage enjoyed without sacrificing quality of care, technology or results.

Capitol Imaging Services is doctor trusted and patient preferred.