Medicare Says It Will Cover Lung Cancer Scans for Long-Time Smokers

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made a formal proposal to start covering low-dose CT scans for people aged 55 to 74 with a smoking history of 30 pack-years who still smoke or who have quit within the last 15 years. Epidemiologist Peter B. Bach, Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes and a thought leader on the subject, is available to discuss the importance of this proposal.

Dr. Bach requested Medicare’s review of new screening guidelines. The new proposal would cover four million beneficiaries and has the potential to save thousands of lives each year. The US Preventive Services Task Force currently recommends annually screening people who are at high risk for lung cancer with low-dose CT scans up until age 80. Memorial Sloan Kettering recommends lung cancer screening for people between the ages of 55 and 74 with a smoking history of at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years, or 30 or more pack-years. For more information and to set up an interview, email our media staff at