The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued their final decision requiring Medicare coverage of low-dose computed tomography on Feb 5th. This final approval follows a draft decision from Nov 24th, 2014, and was slightly adjusted, based on the feedback by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and other expert groups.
Important changes were to include smokers up to age 77 (from 74) and to loosen the requirements from "asymptomatic" to "absence of signs or symptoms of lung cancer", both changes which increase the eligibility.
This decision brings the clinically proven benefits of lung cancer screening to approximately 5 million Medicare beneficiaries. According to experts, this will help saving thousands of lives within the next years.
Therefore centers preparing for this new challenge need specialized tools to read and report the enormous amounts of CT scans both efficiently and effective - and dedicated training how to set-up a lung screening program at their institution.