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Published on July 02, 2012

Owensboro Health Launching CT Screening for Lung Cancer

Study found 20 percent reduction in lung cancer deaths among current or former heavy smokers

OWENSBORO, KY (July 2, 2012) – Today, Owensboro Health begins offering screening for lung cancer that includes a short risk assessment and a low-dose CT scan. The program is fashioned after the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST)—a seven-year study that showed a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer deaths with low-dose CT (as compared to chest X-ray). The study’s findings are significant because they indicate clear evidence of considerable reduction in death with a CT screening test in a randomized, controlled trial.

The NLST, conducted by the National Cancer Institute, involved 53,454 patients and studied lung cancer deaths among current or former heavy smokers ages 55 to 74.  Like the study, Owensboro Health will offer CT screening to anyone in the age group with a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years—either current or former smokers—without signs, symptoms or history of lung cancer.  Unlike the study, anyone screened will not receive a chest X-ray or periodic blood and sputum tests.

Insurance companies are still evaluating whether or not to pay patients for the CT scan. Anthem has said it would pay patients who meet the criteria for screening. Owensboro Health will bill insurance providers but patients may have to pay out-of-pocket for the scan—$250 (includes radiologist’s fee).

A triage nurse in the hospital’s Call Center will guide patients through a series of questions to help determine if they meet the criteria for the screening. Patients may call 1-877-888-6647, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to speak with a nurse. 

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a community-focused, non-profit healthcare system that provides innovative technology and compassionate care with the mission of healing the sick and improving the health of the communities it serves. Owensboro Health includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, several regional clinics and diagnostic centers, wound healing centers, a cancer center, home care services and the Healthpark (a medical based fitness center). Owensboro Health Regional Hospital is licensed to operate 477 beds, with an average of 1,900 births, 65,000 emergency room visits and 16,500 admissions and 750,000 outpatient visits each year. System-wide, the organization has over 3,700 employees, 250 volunteers and 203 medical staff.

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