Sylvester Earns Lung Cancer Screening Center Designation by the American College of Radiology

The lung cancer screening program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, has been designated an American College of Radiology (ACR) Lung Cancer Screening Center. The voluntary designation signifies that the program and protocol meet the requirements set forth by the ACR lung cancer screening committee. It is awarded to providers who offer safe, effective diagnostic care for those considered at high risk for lung cancer. Sylvester’s lung cancer screening program was launched in November 2011 by Richard J. Thurer, M.D., thoracic surgeon and B. and Donald Carlin Professor of Thoracic Surgical Oncology (Emeritus) at the Miller School of Medicine.

“To receive this designation, we had to be accredited by the ACR in computed tomography in the chest module, as well as undergo a rigorous assessment of our lung cancer screening protocol and infrastructure,” said Nestor R. Villamizar, M.D., lung cancer expert at Sylvester. “We also had to show that we have procedures in place for follow-up patient care, such as counseling and smoking cessation programs.”

The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Registry™ (LCSR) is approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to enable providers to meet quality reporting requirements to receive Medicare CT lung cancer screening payments. Medicare requires data submission to an approved clinical practice registry as a condition for reimbursement for lung cancer screening exams.

“Lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans, and appropriate follow-up care, has been shown to significantly reduce lung cancer deaths,” said Marie J. Charles, M.S.M., ANP-BC, lung cancer screening program coordinator at Sylvester. In December 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended screening of adults aged 55 to 80 who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

As part of the ACR National Radiology Data Registry, the LCSR leads the effort in developing benchmarks and comparisons to help imaging facilities improve quality of patient care. Sylvester is eligible to enter data in in the Registry for Medicare beneficiaries and non-Medicare beneficiaries as part of the Lung Cancer Screening Program. Eligible radiology imaging facilities furnishing lung cancer screening with LDCT are required to submit data to a CMS-approved registry for each lung cancer LDCT screening performed. The LCSR allows Sylvester’s imaging facility to compare lung cancer screening performance to other facilities nationwide. Doctors and staff can then use these objective comparisons to advance lung cancer screening practice, target specific areas for improvement, implement quality improvement programs, and improve patient care.

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