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  • 05.30.14

    AMIC Applauds Congress for Urging Medicare to Cover LDCT for Lung

    Washington, D.C. – The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) today applauded Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) for spearheading a bipartisan letter signed by 45 Senate leaders, urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to complete the National Coverage Determination (NCD) for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for Medicare beneficiaries with a high risk of developing lung cancer.

    “We commend these 45 Senators and the leadership of Sens. Feinstein and Isakson for putting partisan politics aside to advocate on behalf of the tens of thousands of patients across the country who stand to benefit from access to LDCT for lung,” said Tim Trysla, executive director of AMIC. “Though lung cancer remains the leading cancer killer in the United States, the devastating death toll could be reduced by 20 percent if CMS provides Medicare beneficiaries with the same life-saving LDCT technologies that many individuals with private health insurance enjoy.”

    With the median age of lung cancer diagnosis being age 70, it is essential that seniors on Medicare have access to this screening tool, as the symptoms of lung cancer do not typically manifest until the disease has reached advanced, less treatable stages.

    The American College of Radiology (ACR), the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) were integral in helping to build bipartisan legislative support for coverage of this life-saving technology. LDCT for lung is already covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Energy (DoE) and a number of private insurers, such as WellPoint, Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates and Anthem affiliates. Several cancer organizations that represent diverse groups of patient advocates across the country have also voiced strong support for coverage, including the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the American Cancer Society (ACS).

    In January, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) finalized its recommendation for the use of annual LDCT scans to screen individuals 55 to 80 years of age who are at high risk for lung cancer.

    AMIC has long stressed the importance of working with policymakers, physicians and CMS to ensure patients have access to this life-saving LDCT technology.

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    The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition represents physicians, medical providers, and patient organizations throughout the U.S. It also includes health technology firms that manufacture imaging equipment and supplies and that employ tens of thousands of workers. Thus, AMIC represents those who develop medical imaging technologies, those who apply it, and those who benefit from it.

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