The American Thoracic Society and the American Lung Association’s Lung Force initiative have launched a new website and online toolkit to help medical institutions implement and manage a lung cancer screening program.
The website and toolkit can be found at LungCancerScreeningGuide.org.
In 2011, the National Lung Screening Trial reported that annual low-dose computed chest tomography could save the lives of current and former smokers at high risk of developing lung cancer by detecting the cancer early. In 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began covering the lung cancer screening test. Plans purchased through state marketplaces and most private insurers are also required to cover the diagnostic test.
Only a small fraction of the estimated eight to nine million individuals who meet the criteria for the screening have taken advantage of this potentially life-saving procedure.
“Hospitals face multiple barriers in implementing lung cancer screening,” said Carey C. Thomson, MD, MPH, director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital in Massachusetts.
To address the challenges institutions face in beginning a lung cancer screening program and managing it successfully, the ATS and the American Lung Association created a Lung Cancer Screening Implementation Guide. The guide was developed by a panel of experts involved in all aspects of US lung cancer screening programs recognized for their high quality.
The guide offers several potential solutions to the operational challenges presented by launching a lung cancer screening program. The panelists recognized that successful programs had to work in the context of the particular institutions and practices offering the service.
Among the lung cancer screening topics covered by the new website and implementation guide are:
- ATS policy statements and guidelines for lung cancer screening
- Program structures and management models
- Provider outreach and education
- CMS requirements
- Quality metric reporting
- Clinical decision support tools
- Reporting examination results
- Tracking data and registry reporting
- Smoking cessation counseling
Read the guide at LungCancerScreeningGuide.org.