BURLINGTON, Mass., Aug. 17 -- Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass. (6th CD), issued the following news release:
Congressman John Tierney met with doctors and administrators at Lahey Clinic to learn more about their initiative to provide new lung cancer screening options to local patients, and their efforts to urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other large insurers to cover the possibly life-saving technology. During the visit yesterday afternoon, hospital radiology leaders sought Congressman Tierney's assistance in expediting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force review of proposals for having the new low-dose CT procedure accepted as a reimbursable service by CMS and others.
"The staff at Lahey Clinic continues to impress me, as they work to provide the best possible care for our local families. From being at the forefront of lung cancer screening technology to their efforts to ensure patients can afford this option, these hard working men and women are truly committed to serving our community," Congressman Tierney said.
Andrea B. McKee, MD, Chair of Radiation Oncology at Lahey Clinic led today's briefing. "We are pleased to be able to share Lahey Clinic's 'Rescue Lung, Rescue Life' program with Congressman Tierney. Access to LDCT lung screening is one of the most important issues facing oncology today. I am proud to be part of an organization that does the right thing for patients by making this life-saving tool available to all who are known to be at high-risk for the development of lung cancer," she said.
Lahey Clinic is currently offering free low-dose helical CT screenings for those at high-risk for developing lung cancer. In 2010, a National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed that individuals screened with low-dose CT scans had a 20% lower lung cancer mortality rate than those who were screened with standard X-rays. During today's event, Lahey Clinic staff outlined for Congressman Tierney why they believe this screening is a safe and cost-effective way to prevent potentially more invasive and expensive treatments as well as their efforts to encourage CMS to begin providing coverage for this test.
Congressman Tierney has long been an advocate for the development of innovative medical technologies aimed at reducing the incidences of illness and disease. He has supported various efforts, including in the Affordable Care Act, to encourage preventive care and create long range cost efficiencies in health care.
TNS MJ88-120818-3993246 StaffFurigay