Lung Cancer Screening

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), a study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, compared the use of CT scans with chest X-rays to screen for lung cancer in patients aged 55-74 and who smoked one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years. The patients screened with CT scans were found to have 20% fewer deaths from lung cancer than patients screened with X-rays.

Based on the results of the NLST, Rhode Island Medical Imaging (RIMI) has created the first comprehensive out-patient Lung Cancer Screening program in Rhode Island. RIMI’s program is based upon the initial findings from the trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Patients may qualify for Lung Cancer Screenings if they are current or former smokers between the ages of 50 to 80.

Recently, the United States Preventative Services Taskforce (USPSTF) recommended an annual Lung Cancer Screening for adults 50 to 80 who have a 20 pack-year smoking history, currently smoke, or have quit within the past 15 years. This means that many insurances are now covering an annual Lung Cancer Screening for patients who do not yet have symptoms. RIMI recommends you check with your insurance company for your specific benefits. Please refer to the chart below for more information.

If you are a current or former long-term smoker over the age of 50, ask your doctor or healthcare provider about whether you should receive a Lung Cancer Screening at any of RIMI’s nine locations offering these exams. Eligible patients will need a referral.

Rhode Island Medical Imaging partners with QUiTWORKS-RI and Tobacco Cessation Services of Rhode Island (TCSRI).

QUiTWORKS-RI helps patients who want to quit smoking with free counseling and other resources. After your doctor submits a referral, QUiTWORKS-RI calls you within three business days and connects you with quit-smoking services, including telephonic counseling. QUiTWORKS–RI is open to all Rhode Island residents, whether they have health insurance or not.

CODAC’s TCSRI coaching program helps you identify the method of quitting that will work for you, on your own timeline, making it more likely you can quit for good. TCSRI offers individual and group quit coaching delivered by certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists at CODAC facilities across the state. Call 401-442-1857 or visit TCSRI.org for more information.

These helpful resources are available for you to download:

Insurance Criteria for CT Lung Cancer Screening

Pack-years are calculated by multiplying the average number of packs per day smoked by the number of years you have smoked. For example, if you smoked 1 pack per day for 20 years, that is a 20 pack-year history. If you smoked a 1/2 pack per day for 40 years, that is also a 20 pack-year history.

CT Lung Cancer Screenings are read by our radiologists with subspecialized training in thoracic imaging.
Insurance Provider Smoking History Needed Patient Age Range
Blue Cross of Rhode Island 20+ Pack-Years No Age Minimum/Maximum
BlueChip Commercial 20+ Pack-Years No Age Minimum/Maximum
BlueChip Medicare 30+ Pack-Years No Age Minimum/Maximum
NHPRI (Neighborhood Health Plan RI) 20+ Pack-Years No Age Minimum/Maximum
NHPRI Access Plan 20+ Pack-Years No Age Minimum/Maximum
NHPRI Integrity Plan 20+ Pack-Years No Age Minimum/Maximum
Aetna 20+ Pack-Years 50 - 80 Years
Cigna Healthcare and Carelink 20+ Pack-Years 50 - 80 Years
United Healthcare 20+ Pack-Years 50 - 80 Years
Federal Employees (FEP Focus Plan) 30+ Pack-Years 55 - 80 Years
Harvard Pilgrim 30+ Pack-Years 55 - 80 Years
RI Medical Assistance (EDS) 30+ Pack-Years 55 - 80 Years
Tufts 30+ Pack-Years 55 - 80 Years
Medicare 20+ Pack-Years 50 - 77 Years
United Medicare 20+ Pack-Years 50 - 77 Years