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November 9, 2018

National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The good news is that the most common type, which is non-small cell lung cancer, can sometimes be cured if it is detected early. Of course, the best way to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer is to stop smoking and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke, because nearly 85 percent of lung cancer is caused by smoking.

Medicare covers lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) test annually under Medicare Part B, if all eligibility requirements are met in the National Coverage Determinations (NCD) process. Before the first lung cancer LDCT screening can occur, the physician must ensure certain requirements have been met and appropriate criteria are documented for asymptomatic tobacco smokers between 55 to 77 years of age. The final recommendation statement summarized by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force states that adults between the ages of 55 and 80 years old who are heavy smokers or have quit within the past 15 years are at high risk for lung cancer and should be screened every year with a LDCT test.

November is the perfect month for physicians to encourage appropriate beneficiaries to take advantage of this preventive service. Help your patients strengthen their odds of preventing lung cancer by utilizing one of Medicare's life-saving preventive services.

Resources:

This document was developed through the A/B Medicare Administrative Contractor Provider Outreach & Education Collaboration Team. This joint effort ensures consistent communication and education throughout the nation on a variety of topics and will assist the provider and physician community with information necessary to submit claims appropriately and receive proper payment in a timely manner.

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