McConnell Commends CMS Decision to Cover CT Scans for Lung Cancer Screenings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the following statement today regarding the decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that low-dose computerized tomography (CT) scans will be covered by Medicare.

“Today’s announcement is welcome news and I applaud CMS for its decision to allow Medicare to cover lung cancer screenings for patients at high-risk for developing the disease. In one way or another, cancer has touched the lives of almost every American, and ensuring seniors have access to innovative diagnostic tools and treatment options should always be a top priority.”

Background:  Last September, Senator McConnell wrote CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner on behalf of his constituents who contacted him about improving lung cancer prevention and treatment efforts. In the letter, Senator McConnell wrote that “lung cancer has the highest mortality rate of all cancers in the United States. Additionally, my home state of Kentucky has the highest state mortality rate of lung cancer in the country, and the disease claims the lives of approximately 3,000 Kentuckians every year.”

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends CT scans be used as an early detection method by high-risk individuals – those who are aged 55 to 80 years old who have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or more. In its recommendation, the task force cited the substantial reduction in lung cancer mortality as a benefit of early detection through low-dose CT scans.

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