It’s January 2016, which means many of us are days into a resolution to improve ourselves personally or professionally. But there’s one change I think we all can celebrate this New Year: Medicare is finally accepting claims for low-dose CT lung cancer screenings.
Beginning January 4, 2016, Medicare contractors are accepting claims for LDCT lung cancer screening retroactive to the national coverage determination date of Feb. 5, 2015.
You’ll recall that back on February 5, 2015, CMS determined that there was sufficient evidence to add a lung cancer screening counseling and shared decision making visit, and for appropriate beneficiaries, annual screening for lung cancer with LDCT.
In case you missed it, CMS recently posted claims billing instructions for lung cancer screening with LDCT, including details on beneficiary screening eligibility, shared decision making and counseling visits, written order, radiologist, registry and imaging center requirements.
While it was a long wait, I’m excited to see computed tomography finally being used as a recommended screening method. Mammograms and colonoscopies paved the way for imaging-based screening interventions, and it’s great to see imaging technology continue to provide value to patients and clinicians. Another takeaway is that radiology departments and imaging facilities continue to play a truly important role in helping to advance population health.
I’d love to hear your plans for implementing LDCT lung cancer screenings at your facility and invite you to comment below.