MITA Says New Analysis Confirms the Value of Low-Dose Lung CT for High-Risk Medicare Beneficiaries

09.10.14

Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today said a new analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine confirms the value of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung imaging for high-risk Medicare-eligible patients.

“These findings provide even more direct evidence of the benefits of low-dose CT imaging for detecting lung cancer in Medicare beneficiaries at high risk for this deadly disease,” said Gail Rodriguez, executive director of MITA. “In light of this, we urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide this population with access to the same life-saving technology as individuals with private health insurance.”

Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) analyzed the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) data and determined that the benefits of LDCT imaging were more pronounced among current and former heavy smokers ages 65 to 74 (i.e., Medicare-eligible population) than for individuals ages 55 to 64 with similar smoking histories, in spite of slightly higher false positive test results. An accompanying editorial concluded that, based upon the findings of the NIH team’s analysis, there is no reason to exclude Medicare beneficiaries from access to this technology.

This comes on the heels of an actuarial cost-benefit analysis conducted by Milliman, Inc. that found implementation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations for LDCT for the early detection of lung cancer in high-risk Medicare beneficiaries is highly cost effective.

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The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment, radiation therapy and radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators and product developers. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for medical imaging and radiation therapy technologies. For more information, visit www.medicalimaging.org. Follow MITA on Twitter @MITAToday.