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State-level variations in the utilization of lung cancer screening among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries

Chest Jan 08, 2020

Liu B, et al. - Researchers performed this ecological study to evaluate state-level differences in lung cancer screening (LCS) among the US elderly during the first 3 years since Medicare started its LCS reimbursement policy in 2015. They focused on links between LCS utilization density, described as the number of low-dose CT (LDCT) or shared decision-making and counseling (SDMC) services per 1,000 Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries acquired from the Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier public use file, and state-level factors from various publicly accessible data sources. Findings revealed that in 2017, the median utilization density per 1,000 Medicare FFS beneficiaries was estimated to be 3.32 and 0.46 for LDCT and for SDMC, which was 24 and 13 times the 2015 level, respectively. Experts found that since Medicare started its reimbursement policy, there occurred a steady rise in LCS utilization. They noted that the utilization as well as its growth differed across the United States and varied between LDCT imaging and SDMC, suggesting huge growth potentials for LCS and for states with high lung cancer death and smoking prevalence.
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