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Financial assistance available for early lung cancer screening

July 7, 2021

Qualified current and former smokers no longer experience financial barrier for early detection

Highly regarded for advanced treatment and state-of-the-art facilities for patients with lung cancer, Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) has offered a lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) since 2011. This screening has been shown by research to save lives by finding lung cancer early in people who are considered high-risk. NCH has a new program in place to ensure that the cost for this important screening is not a barrier for anyone eligible who is not covered by their insurance or who is uninsured.

“We are a pioneer in the area of early lung cancer screening. With this new eligibility criteria announced in March we want to make sure that we are inclusive and have eliminated a barrier for anyone who is eligible and wants a screening, but can’t get one due to lack of insurance coverage and cost,” explains Juli Aistars, APRN, lung patient navigator at NCH.

The benefit of participating in this non-invasive screening is finding lung cancer at an earlier stage which increases chances of survival and the peace of mind that you are keeping up with your health.

Those eligible include:

  • People ages 50 to 80 who have smoked at least 1 pack per day on average times 20 years smoking
  • Current smokers or those who have quit within the past 15 years
  • Those with no new symptoms of possible lung cancer, such as unexplained weight loss, coughing up blood, new cough

The test requires no advanced preparation. The patient is asked to lay flat on their back on a table in comfortable clothing and have no metal present in the chest region, e.g. jewelry. The entire test takes no more than 10 minutes.

The screening is covered by most insurance plans. NCH will first submit to insurance and if insurance or Medicare denies the claim but the patient does fit the criteria, there is a self-pay option of $150 for the screening. Financial assistance is available through the NCH Lung Cancer Fund for those who are eligible.

NCH is an American College of Radiology designated Lung Cancer Screening Center and a Go2 Foundation for Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence.

For questions about eligibility or to request a screening, contact your primary care provider. Once you have an order from your physician, a screening appointment can be made at 847-618-3700.