New website seeks to help hospitals implement lung cancer screening programs

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative have teamed up to create a new website and online toolkit designed to help healthcare institutions implement and operate lung cancer screening programs.

“Hospitals face multiple barriers in implementing lung cancer screening,” said Carey C. Thomson, MD, director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program, in a release. “These barriers include knowledge gaps regarding current recommendations, CMS lung cancer screening shared decision-making requirements, logistical challenges and limited resources for program implementation, smoker stigmatization and self-stigmatization, and racial bias, among others.”

The Lung Cancer Screening Implementation Guide includes solutions to practical challenges involved in launching a lung cancer screening program, and was developed by a group of U.S. lung cancer screening experts recognized for their “high quality.” The guide covers topics such as:

  • ATS policy and guidelines for screening
  • Examples of how to structure a program and management models
  • CMS requirements
  • Quality metric reporting
  • Tracking data and registry reporting

The 2011 National Lung Screening Trial found annual low-dose chest CT may detect cancer early and save the lives of current and former smokers at high risk of developing cancer, according to the release. And in 2015, CMS started covering lung cancer screening tests, but only a fraction of individuals who fall under that criteria have sought out lung cancer screening.

“Our goal with this collaboration is to reduce mortality from lung cancer through expansion of high-quality lung cancer screening programs,” Thomson said.

The guide will be continually updated and is available at LungCancerScreeningGuide.org.