June 16, 2021

Physician and Patient Groups Respond to CMS About Lung Cancer Screening Coverage

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®), The GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons submitted comments June 15 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that include recommendations to improve the next iteration of Medicare lung cancer screening coverage requirements. The letter builds on recommendations in the associations’ national coverage determination (NCD) reconsideration request that would further improve the early detection of lung cancer and foster equitable care.

CMS responded promptly to the associations’ initial request relating to screening for lung cancer with low dose computed tomography. The organizations support CMS revising its lung cancer screening coverage to reflect the updated U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation that expands the low-dose CT lung cancer screening risk criteria. The evidence published since the 2015 CMS NCD has supported the mortality benefit of this service while outlining many screening management refinements that have reduced morbidity while improving screening efficiency.

The growing evidence for scientific benefit relevant to the Medicare population brings into sharp focus the principal challenge at hand, to ensure equitable access of screening to all the communities that can benefit by reducing barriers to implementation. The ACR will continue to track changes to the NCD.

If you have questions about lung cancer screening coverage or the NCD process, contact Alicia Blakey, ACR Sr. Economic Policy Analyst.

Read the joint ACR, GO2 Foundation and STS comment letter.