Special Report to Blowing Rock News from Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. June 5, 2017. BOONE, NC — Did you know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States? According to the American Cancer Society, more than 220,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.
Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cells form in the lungs and grow out of control. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, eight out of 10 lung cancer cases in the United States are caused by smoking. Additionally, nine out of 10 people die from the disease because it is diagnosed too late.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has determined that the evidence is sufficient to add a shared decision-making visit and an annual lung cancer screening to the preventative services available under the Medicare program.
- What is a shared decision-making visit? Face-to-face meeting between the patient and clinicians to discuss the benefits and potential risks of a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan.
- What is a Low-dose CT scan? The LDCT scan is especially effective for diagnosing cancer at its earliest, most treatable stages. The patient will lie on the CT table while a CT scanner uses a low dose of radiation to make a detailed image of the patient’s lungs. The outpatient procedure is painless and only takes a few minutes to complete.
- Who is eligible under Medicare?
- Patient must be between 55 – 77 years of age.
- No signs or symptoms of lung cancer.
- Current or former smoker with active tobacco smoking within the last 15 years.
- Will private insurance cover the LDCT scan? Private insurance plans do cover LDCT scans for patients between 55 – 80 years of age.
How do I sign up?
In June 2017, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) will launch a lung cancer screening program for patients who qualify. Interested participants should:
- Complete the LDCT Lung Screening referral form, located at apprhs.org/lungscreening, with their primary care provider.
- Participate in a shared decision-making visit at Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists located in Boone, NC.
- If during the shared decision-making visit the patient and provider determine that the patient is eligible for the lung cancer screening program, the provider will schedule the LDCT scan for the patient at Watauga Medical Center.
- Discuss results of LDCT scan and follow up plan with ARHS’s Pulmonology Navigator.
For more information about the lung cancer screening call the ARHS Pulmonary Navigator at 828-386-2039 or visit apprhs.org/lungscreening.
(828) 262-4100 | apprhs.org