In the latest American Journal of Roentgenology, new research emerged touting follow-up protocols for CT lung cancer screening, marking the latest in a series of developments that have pushed screening into the forefront of administrative planning discussions. Other major developments were a National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) displaying mortality reduction of 20% among high-risk patients screened for lung cancer, as well as a substantial increase in CMS reimbursement for Bronchoscopy with Fiducial Markers (CPT 31626) from $723 in 2011 to $2,024 in 2012.
This collection of new tools, evidence, and reimbursement has sparked substantial interest by our hospital membership in developing lung cancer screening programs. However, the decision is not a no-brainer, and many considerations on timing, methods, and technology are required before proceeding with program development.
Lung cancer screening programs—is now the right time?