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Smokers Who Undergo CT Scan of Lungs Are More Likely to Quit Smoking

by | Aug 14, 2017 | Blog, Radiology Medical Billing

CT Scan of LungsA complex disease to understand and treat, lung cancer requires accurate screening. Lung cancer screening can help diagnose lung cancer at an early stage when it is easier to treat. A new research published in the journal Thorax has found that smokers who undergo a CT scan of their lungs are more likely to quit smoking. Low-dose CT scan is the only lung cancer screening tool that reduces the risk of dying from lung cancer. A CT scan uses x-rays to make detailed cross-sectional images of your body. Instead of taking one picture like a regular x-ray, a CT scanner takes many pictures as it rotates around you while you lie on a table. Radiology medical billing involves coding and documenting x-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, PET scans and more. According to the CDC, more people in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer.

The study involved 4,055 participants aged 50 to 75. The researchers divided the group into two – those who underwent low-dose CT screening for early detection of lung cancer and a control group who did not undergo screening. It was found that of the smokers who took part in the screening, 10 per cent successfully quit smoking after two weeks, and 15 per cent quit after two years – both higher than the rates in the control group.

Chief Investigator of this UK Lung Cancer Screening Trial says, “The findings of this study dispute the belief that a negative screening result offers a “license to smoke.” Engaging with lung screening can give smokers an opportunity to access smoking cessation support – at a time when they are likely to be more receptive to offers of help.”

Medical coding services for lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scan involves assigning the right medical codes for the services provided.

HCPCS codes that are used for lung cancer screening with LDCT include:

  • G0296 – Counseling visit to discuss the need for lung cancer screening using low dose CT scan (LDCT)
  • G0297 – Low dose CT scan (LDCT) for lung cancer screening

In addition to the HCPCS code, these services must be billed with theICD-10 diagnosis code

  • Z87.891 Personal history of nicotine dependence

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recommended certain eligibility criteria for patients undergoing LDCT, the radiologist performing the scan as well as the imaging facility where the scan is done. For instance, the reading radiologist must be Board certified from the American Board of Radiology or equivalent organization and must have documented training in diagnostic radiology and radiation safety.

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