Michael Song, Imaging Performance Partnership
In case you missed it, our colleagues in our Technology Insights division recently blogged about new research regarding CT lung screening follow-up protocols. The insights are derived from the results of a lung cancer screening study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology and which we blogged about here. The study found that by using a new protocol incorporating the size, shape and growth patterns of suspicious nodule findings to determine whether to biopsy, physicians could dramatically reduce the number of biopsies resulting in false positive findings.
The findings come as the number of institutions offering CT lung screening looks set to sharply increase. Our colleagues from the Oncology Roundtable recently conducted a survey of 104 members, and found that of the one-third of members that currently offered the procedure, most only started offering coverage within the past year. In addition, over three quarters of the remaining institutions were considering introducing the procedure in 2012. Among the reasons cited by members for this interest in CT lung screening was a desire to improve early detection of the disease, thereby reducing overall costs of patient care as well. A sizeable proportion of respondents also pointed to the potential to increase CT volumes by offering the procedure.
However, making the business case for offering CT lung screening also requires programs to consider other factors. Therefore, we highly recommend taking a moment to read through the additional insights provided by our colleagues in Technology Insights around relevant reimbursement and technology acquisition considerations.
Of course, this year’s national meeting research (register here) will also highlight tactics that imaging programs can implement to simultaneously boost volumes and improve overall patient care. If you have any experience with implementing new screening programs and would like to share your stories, please email me at email@example.com.