Patient and Provider Groups Urge Medicare Not to Undercut Lung Cancer Screening

More than 80 patient advocacy groups, unhealthy medical associations and health care systems are urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to abandon drastic low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screening reimbursement cuts in the 2017 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) proposed rule.

LDCT lung cancer screening is the first and only cost-effective test proven to significantly reduce lung cancer deaths. A letter spearheaded by Lung Cancer Alliance, cure the Prevent Cancer Foundation, search The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American College of Radiology, Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA) and others warns CMS that a proposal to reduce reimbursement for LDCT shared decision making sessions and LDCT scans by 64 and 44 percent, respectively, may scuttle only recently established screening programs and deter local providers from starting screening programs.

“As we have long reinforced, LDCT lung cancer screening is a proven, valuable tool in finding the number one cancer killer at its most treatable, and even curable, stage,” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, president and CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance. “The impact of these proposed reimbursement cuts would limit access to this lifesaving benefit for the most at-risk, underserved members of our population who have the highest rates of lung cancer mortality.”

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