CT Screenings Primary to Detecting Lung Cancer Earlier
Most Insurance Covers the Exam
Eugene/Springfield, OR - Lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. This category of cancer accounts for more deaths than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. Overall mortality rates for lung and bronchus cancer have decreased only slightly over the past decade, according to the National Cancer Institute, but we now have the tools to change these statistics.
“Unlike many other cancers, lung cancer has only one major risk factor: smoking. Because of this, for patients with a significant smoking history, screening with a chest CT examination has proven to decrease mortality from lung cancer by early detection,” says Dr. Erik Young of Oregon Imaging Centers.
The predictors for lung cancer are very consistent, and Medicare and private insurance now cover CT lung screenings for those who fall in the high risk category. The screenings allow physicians to detect lung cancer early, when treatment is less invasive and outcomes are better.
Oregon Imaging offers these studies and has obtained its CT Lung Cancer Screening accreditation from the American College of Radiology. The process of a CT lung screening takes about 15 minutes. It’s a painless process that yields a very good picture of a patient’s lung health.
All private health plans, Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) cover lung cancer screening for eligible individuals ages 55 to 77. Most follow-up care required after the exam will be covered by insurance or Medicare/Medicaid, but patients should check with their insurance carriers to be sure.
- Age: Must be 55-77 years of age.
- Smoking history: Must have smoked an average of at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years of more.
- Former smokers in the same age range and with the same cigarette use, who quit less than 15 years ago, are also eligible.
Those who meet these criteria will need a referral from their physician and should also check with their insurance provider to be certain of coverage and to learn whether pre-authorization is required.
- For more information about the decision-making behind the new coverage as it relates to Medicare, visit cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/nca-decision-memo.aspx?NCAId=274.
- For more information about ACR accreditation, visit www.acr.org.
- For more information about screenings, visit radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=screening-lung.
- For more information about Oregon Imaging’s CT services, visit oregonimaging.com/Services/Low-Dose-CT.