Lung Cancer Screening Could Cost Medicare Billions

Every person covered by Medicare would shell out an additional $3 a month if the government agreed to pay to screen certain current and former smokers for lung cancer, a new study estimates.

Every person covered by Medicare would shell out an additional $3 a month if the government agreed to pay to screen certain current and former smokers for lung cancer, a new study estimates.

It would cost Medicare $2 billion a year to follow recent advice to offer these lung scans — and fuel angst about rising health costs that are borne by everyone, not just smokers, the study found.

Joshua Roth of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle said the researchers merely were tallying the cost of screening, and were not "judging value" or saying whether Medicare should pay it. He led the study, which was released Wednesday and will be presented at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference later this month.

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Source; Modern Healthcare