Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16) today joined Reps. Charles Boustany, M.D. (R-LA), John Barrow (D-GA), and Richard Neal (D-Mass) in sending a letter signed by 130 of their colleagues in the House of Representatives to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) urging timely review of Medicare coverage of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans for Medicare patients at high risk of developing lung cancer.
More than 156,000 patients die from lung cancer each year in the United States, which is greater than the mortality rates of breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. According to a recent report by the Ohio Department of Health, approximately 4,200 Ohioans die each year as a result of lung cancer. Since lung cancer is often first identified in an advanced stage, only approximately 15 percent of lung cancer patients live five years or more following an initial diagnosis of the disease. Following the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommendation, private insurance has been mandated to cover LDCT lung cancer screenings in high-risk patients. CMS has initiated its National Coverage Determination (NCD) process to determine whether or not Medicare will cover this service and who will be eligible for the screening.
“Medicare patients who are at high risk of developing lung cancer should have the same access to evidence-based, appropriate medical imaging procedures as those who are covered by private insurance,” said Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16). “That is why I joined more than 130 of my colleagues in sending a letter to HHS and CMS inquiring about the status of the NCD process for low-dose CT scans. I am hopeful that we receive a timely response; our nation’s oldest and most vulnerable population depends on it.”
Tomorrow, Rep. Renacci will attend a lung cancer screening event at the Cleveland Clinic to learn more about the technology available and hear from some of our nation’s finest doctors.
The letter is supported by the American College of Radiology (ACR), Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), and Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA).