As a former smoker of 25 years, I would like to have the helical CT scan to check for lung cancer. My physician said I need to check with my insurer for coverage. My insurer says I need the procedure or billing code to determine whether it's covered. Does anyone know the procedure code for this scan? Thanks for your help.
I can’t really answer your question about the billing code.
Screening for lung cancer though is not a good idea. Unlike screening for cervical cancer and breast cancer, lung cancer screening has not shown to improve survival. There are promising studies that CT scan may be able to change this, but until the information becomes clear, we have to wait for screening to be a reality. There are some concerns about routine CT since the radiation may also be causing the cancer that it is trying to detect. Hence, until the information is clear, no one would recommend this. In transitivity, no insurance company would pay for it.
If you don’t feel anything at all, then you are indeed looking for a screening test. If you feel something, persistent difficult of breathing, chronic cough, spitting up blood – then the situation changes, and the CT may indeed be indicated.
At the present time, your best protection from lung cancer is to keep a smoke free lifestyle.
Discuss things with your doctor. If there is a nearby hospital that is part of the study for CT scan as a screening test for lung cancer – then you may be able to participate if you are really interested.
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