This post was contributed by Ella Kazerooni, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Lung Cancer Screening Committee and ACR Thoracic Imaging Panel.
It’s been nine months since Medicare’s decision to cover low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening, giving seniors at high-risk for the disease access to care that can save more lives than any cancer screening test in history.
November’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month typically provides the opportunity to raise awareness and increase attention to this disease. For providers, it should be a time to gain or sharpen our tools needed to provide safe, effective lung cancer screening with the latest research, toolkits and key patient information.
High-quality, cost-effective screening requires standardized processes, including appropriate identification of individuals for screening, the CT screening technique itself, reporting of the CT results, and the management of positive results, including incidental significant findings and the inclusion of smoking cessation as part of any lung cancer screening program. What necessary steps are you taking to create a quality, sustainable, effective CT lung cancer screening process — paying particular attention to patient safety?
Critical information is available on the ACR Lung Cancer Screening Resources webpage. Providers can meet Medicare quality reporting requirements to receive payment for lung cancer screening exams by submitting data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-approved American College of Radiology (ACR) Lung Cancer Screening Registry™.
A comprehensive, interactive online education program trains you on how to implement a safe and effective lung cancer screening program, allowing you to earn credits toward Lung Cancer Screening Center physician continuing medical education (CME) needs. Several related sessions will be offered at ACR 2016™, the all-member ACR annual meeting, May 15–19 in Washington, DC. These include advancing the practice of lung cancer screening and developing an effective lung cancer screening team.
Some other educational opportunities are listed below:
- The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center program helps ensure exams are provided safely and effectively
- ACR Lung-RADS™ standardizes exam reporting and management, aids lung CT interpretation and supports outcomes monitoring
- ACR-Society of Thoracic Radiology lung cancer screening practice parameters outline exam performance
- FAQs provide information on patient and center eligibility, accreditation and lung cancer screening designation, radiologist requirements, billing and payment, and other available resources
- RadiologyInfo.org offers information for patients
We’re in a new era for lung cancer detection, seeing the transition from the efficacy of lung cancer screening shown in clinical trials to effectiveness in clinical practice. How are you improving your practice?