ACR lauds new lung cancer screening guidelines from CMS

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The American College of Radiology (ACR) is lauding proposed new guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for reimbursement of CT lung cancer screening.

The proposed new payment policy was released November 17 by the CMS. The new guidelines would lower screening start age from 55 to 50 and reduce the number of smoking pack years from 30 to 20. They would also bring CMS in line with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which issued an updated lung cancer screening recommendation in March.

If finalized, the recommendation will save lives, the ACR said in a statement.

"As lung cancer kills more people each year than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined, this cost-effective exam is poised to save more lives than any cancer screening test in history," ACR Lung-RADS Committee chair Dr. Ella Kazerooni said in a statement. "It is critical that physicians know of new guidelines so they can engage with patients to make informed screening decisions."

The college plans to submit comments to CMS on the proposed lung cancer screening changes during the comment period, which ends December 17, it said. CMS is expected to issue a final rule for lung cancer screening by February 15, 2022.

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