Medicare Advisory Panel Advises Against Annual Low-dose CT Screen

An advisory panel to the CMS voted against recommending an annual low-dose CT scan for high-risk individuals citing no benefit over the harm of false-positives.

Annual low-dose CT lung cancer screening for high-risk individuals doesn't have enough evidence for benefit over harms to be covered by Medicare, an advisory panel concluded.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid national coverage determination panel voted a mean 2.2 on a 5.0-point scale for confidence in that regard.

Key concerns were the high false-positive rate of CT screening, indication creep outside of the intended screening population, inability to assure quality scans with low radiation dose, and consistent interpretation and diagnostic workup in routine practice.

“If we don’t do it right now, it’s a genie that won’t be able to be stuffed back in the bottle,”Peter Bach, MD, MAPP, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, who has been a prominent voice of caution in the national discussion, argued at the panel meeting.

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Source: Medpage Today