On February 5, 2015, CMS issued a national coverage determination (NCD) that expands Medicare coverage for lung cancer screening. Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screenings are now covered once per year for Medicare beneficiaries who meet the following criteria:
- They are age 55 to 77 years and are either current smokers or have quit smoking within the past 15 years.
- They have a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack years, which is at least a pack a day for 30 years. (If a person smoked 2 packs a day for 15 years, that equals 30 pack years.)
- The person receives a written order from a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner that meets certain requirements, which are contained in the NCD.
The challenge many healthcare organizations now face is how to make Medicare patients aware of the screenings. Given the criteria above, there could potentially be a high volume of patients eligible for this coverage. Making patients aware of the screening will be a great step toward deepening the provider-patient relationship and helping them take a more active role in their care. But how will providers spread the word?
Click HERE to learn how healthcare organizations are contacting high volumes of patients with wellness and preventive reminders without adding to call center or practice staff workloads.