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Low-dose computed tomography for lung cancer screening: clinical and coding considerations

Yiwey Shieh, MD; Martin Bohnenkamp, MD
Author and Funding Information

Drs. Shieh and Bohnenkamp contributed equally to the conception, design, and drafting of the manuscript regarding intellectual content.

Conflicts of interest: The authors declare they have no competing interests.

1Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; San Francisco, CA

2Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, PA

Corresponding author: Martin Bohnenkamp, MD Medical Arts Building, Suite 102 51 39th Street North Philadelphia, PA 19104.


Copyright 2017, . All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2017. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2017.03.019
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Published online

Abstract

Lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) was shown to reduce lung cancer mortality in the National Lung Screening Trial, a large randomized-controlled trial of high-risk current and former smokers. Despite ongoing uncertainty over the effectiveness of LDCT in the real-world setting, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) decided to cover LDCT as a preventive service. As part of its national coverage determination, CMS set forth a series of requirements for reimbursement of LDCT, including a counseling and shared decision-making visit prior to a LDCT being ordered. During this visit, providers must determine patient eligibility, engage in shared decision-making around LDCT, discuss the importance of adherence to screening, and provide smoking cessation counseling (if applicable). Two new billing codes were introduced for the counseling and shared decision-making visit and subsequent LDCT scan. In this review, we summarize the evidence around lung cancer screening and describe practical aspects of the counseling and shared decision-making, including billing considerations. We conclude with a discussion of the greater implications of the CMS national coverage determination, especially as it pertains to quality assurance around new screening tests.


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