A radiologist guides a male patient through an integrated PET-CT scanner. KanCare patients who are high risk for lung cancer can not get free or low-cost screenings. (American Lung Association)
A new Kansas Department of Health and Environment policy makes lung cancer screenings available at little to no cost for Medicaid recipients at high risk of the disease.
The policy, which went into effect July 1, adds low-dose CT scans to KanCare coverage for people between the ages of 55 and 77 who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years and have a history of heavy smoking.
“This (policy) enables providers to catch cancers in early stages and receive treatment,” said Ashley Jones-Wisner, a spokeswoman for KDHE.
Sara Prem, an advocacy specialist with the American Lung Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, encouraged Kansans who meet the eligibility criteria to speak with their doctors immediately. She said once ordered, the scan is quick and painless.
“Screening is used to detect lung cancer early when it is more likely to be curable. In fact, if lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving five years or more improves to 59%,” Prem said. “Now that lung cancer screening is covered by KanCare, many more residents will have access to this life-saving screening.”
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