The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a national coverage determination (NCD) that expands coverage for lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomography (LDCT) to improve health outcomes for people with lung cancer.

Beneficiary eligibility criteria:

  • Age 50 – 77 years;
  • Asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of lung cancer);
  • Tobacco smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (one pack-year = smoking one pack per day for one year; 1 pack = 20 cigarettes);
  • Current smoker or one who has quit smoking within the last 15 years; and
  • Receive an order for lung cancer screening with LDCT.

Counseling and Shared Decision-Making Visit
Before the beneficiary’s first lung cancer LDCT screening, the beneficiary must receive a counseling and shared decision-making visit that meets all of the following criteria, and is appropriately documented in the beneficiary’s medical records:

  • Determination of beneficiary eligibility;
  • Shared decision-making, including the use of one or more decision aids;
  • Counseling on the importance of adherence to annual lung cancer LDCT screening, impact of comorbidities and ability or willingness to undergo diagnosis and treatment; and
  • Counseling on the importance of maintaining cigarette smoking abstinence if former smoker; or the importance of smoking cessation if current smoker and, if appropriate, furnishing of information about tobacco cessation interventions.

Reading Radiologist Eligibility Criteria
For purposes of Medicare coverage of lung cancer screening with LDCT, the reading radiologist must have board certification or board eligibility with the American Board of Radiology or equivalent organization.

Radiology Imaging Facility Eligibility Criteria
For purposes of Medicare coverage, lung cancer screening with LDCT must be furnished in a radiology imaging facility that utilizes a standardized lung nodule identification, classification and reporting system.

Source: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

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