WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has contacted the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services urging her to give a timely and fair review to determine whether low-dose computerized tomography (CT) scans should be covered by Medicare for patients at high-risk for developing lung cancer.
Senator McConnell wrote Administrator Marilyn Tavenner on behalf of his constituents who have contacted him about better treatment for preventing and treating lung cancer. 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.
“In one way or another, cancer has touched the lives of almost every American, and ensuring Kentucky’s seniors have access to innovative diagnostic tools and treatment options should be a priority,” said Senator McConnell.
A copy of the letter is available HERE.