Vital Signs Blog

Senators lobby CMS to cover lung CT scans for heavy smokers

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing Medicare to cover a new form of lung cancer screening they say can help with early detection of the disease.

In a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the group of 44 senators argued that low-dose CT scans are widely available to individuals with private insurance coverage. “It is our hope that fully utilizing this screening tool as appropriate based on patient risk factors will help reduce the more than 156,000 deaths due to lung cancer in the United States each year,” they wrote.

Last month, the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee voted to recommend that Medicare not cover the screening tool. The CMS is widely expected to follow that guidance.

Follow Paul Demko on Twitter: @MHpdemko


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