Medicare Now Provides Free Lung Cancer Screening

November 10th, 2014 by

The Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) has announced that preventative screening will now be offered to Medicare recipients as young as 55 and as old as 74 years. Seniors with long histories of smoking at least a pack a day would also qualify for CT scans, according to the New York Times.

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Experts believe that the new screening provisions could save as many as 20,000 lives a year, as well as save countless dollars on health care costs due to preventative measures and steps taken to improve health by patients. Currently, lung cancer claims about 160,000 lives a year – about one-fourth of all cancer deaths annually.

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Lung cancer is particularly deadly, and kills 90% of those who contract it, largely because it is not detected early enough.

Laurie Fenton Ambrose of the Lung Cancer Alliance, the organization that originally requested Medicare’s decision, said that “Tens of thousands of lives will be saved by providing America’s seniors with fair and equitable access to the same lifesaving lung cancer screening that is now being offered to those with private insurance.”

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