If your patients have a smoking history, they may be at risk for lung cancer. Early detection via annual lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) saves lives. High-risk patients with Medicare as well as many managed care plans are covered for proven screening for the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Who are the patients at risk?
2021 Lung Screening Eligibility Update: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has lowered the age requirement for a lung cancer screening from 55 to 50 and the number of years a person has smoked a pack a day, on average, from 30 to 20. The new guidelines can potentially double the number of patients eligible for a low-dose CT scan. Insurance carriers will now be mandated by law to adjust coverage according to the new recommendations.
Talking About Lung Cancer Screening
The National Comprehensive Care Network (NCCN) classifies high risk as individuals who are:
- 50 years of age or older
- Current or former smokers with a 20-pack year smoking history (pack year = total # of years smoked X # of packs smoked per day)
- For example, one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.
Please share additional risk factors and/or health history when referring.
What You Need to Know
❏ Lung cancer screening could save your patient’s life.
❏ Low-dose CT scan screening reduces lung cancer mortality by 20%.*
❏ Medicare and most private insurers now cover annual CT scan lung screening for high-risk beneficiaries.
❏ National guidelines recommend annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT scan.
❏ Moffitt Cancer Center is a Screening Center of Excellence, accredited as a leader in technology and safety.
The Process & Results
A lung cancer screening may consist of:
❏ A brief phone consultation or a doctor visit.
❏ A low-dose computed tomography (CT/CAT) chest scan that is quick (1-breath hold) and easy.
❏ After the scan, results will be communicated by phone and mail.
❏ At Moffitt, any abnormal results are expedited to our multispecialty lung cancer board for expert review.
If a patient does not meet these eligibility criteria, Moffitt can still schedule a screening with a written order/provider referral or by scheduling a shared decision making visit with a Moffitt Thoracic provider. Even if someone has never used tobacco products, those with exposure to secondhand smoke, radon, asbestos or other carcinogens, or a family history of lung cancer may still wish to consider regular screenings as part of a proactive health care plan. CT screenings can identify potentially cancerous abnormalities long before those growths create symptoms.
Referring a patient to Moffitt’s Lung Screening Program is easy. Physicians can submit a referral by completing our online form or contacting a physician liaison for assistance. Our team responds to most referrals on the same business day that they were received as part of our commitment to maintaining short referral times. Lung cancer screening is offered at Moffitt at International Plaza, Moffitt McKinley Outpatient Center, and Moffitt Magnolia locations.
ICD-10 Codes: Z87.891 Personal history of nicotine dependence;
Z12.2 Encounter for screening for respiratory organ malignancy;
S8032 Low-dose CT for lung cancer screening
* The National Lung Screening Trial found a 20% reduction in lung cancer deaths when screened annually with low-dose CT, as compared to a standard chest x-ray.