Medicare will pay for lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) for eligible patients, according to a recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The coverage is effective immediately.

Medicare will pay for an annual lung cancer screen with LDCT for beneficiaries who are 55 to 77 years of age and who are either current smokers or quit smoking in the previous 15 years, who have a 30 pack-year history of tobacco smoking (an average of one pack a day for 30 years), and who have a written order from a physician or qualified nonphysician practitioner that meets certain requirements.