The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA)—the trade association representing manufacturers of medical imaging equipment, radiopharmaceuticals, contrast media, and focused ultrasound therapeutic devices—applauds the recent national coverage determination (NCD) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand coverage for lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) to improve health outcomes for people with lung cancer.   

“MITA has long championed improving access to low-dose CT lung cancer screening by advocating for reimbursement,” says Patrick Hope, executive director of MITA. “Detecting cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage makes all the difference in overall outcomes and will go a long way to help meet the administration’s goal of reducing the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over 25 years.” 

The announcement expands eligibility for people with Medicare to get lung cancer screening with LCDT by lowering the starting age for screening from 55 to 50 years and reducing the tobacco smoking history from at least 30 packs per year to at least 20 packs per year. Further, data suggest access to LDCT will increase screening compliance among populations and for patients who have historically avoided traditional screening methods.

“Currently, people of color diagnosed with lung cancer face worse outcomes than white Americans because they are less likely to be diagnosed early. Expanding the number of beneficiaries who qualify for screening, as well as access to increased screening options can help to address this disparity,” adds Hope.