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ACS and Color Health launch free Lung Screening Access Program

Supporting updated ACS guideline, move aims to reach 20M Americans who smoke or previously smoked.

The American Cancer Society and Color Health on Nov. 16 announced plans to provide a convenient, free screening access program for the almost 20 million Americans who are now eligible for lung cancer screenings under the updated ACS guideline. The new program makes it easy for those who smoke or previously smoked to determine their eligibility and identify screening options – all with support from Color’s care advocates and clinicians who will order and write referrals for low-dose CT (ldCT) scans and book appointments for eligible individuals with lung cancer screening providers.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States. Research shows, annual screening with ldCT scans reduces lung cancer deaths by up to 20%, but less than 6% of eligible Americans get screened. Low adherence can be attributed to difficulty navigating the healthcare system, and stigma associated with lung cancer – especially among people who currently or used to smoke. The Lung Screening Access Program helps overcome these barriers, helping to increase the number of eligible Americans who get screened.

Through this impact partnership, any individual, regardless of employer benefits or insurance provider, can receive the following at no cost:

  • Access to a digital, HIPAA-compliant lung cancer risk assessment tool
  • Guidance on whether or not they are recommended for lung cancer screening based on the updated ACS guideline
  • Consultation with Color Care Advocates and clinicians
  • A referral for a scan
  • Support booking the scan, including navigating coverage and prior authorization

“With our updated lung cancer screening guideline, the next step is to directly support individuals in accessing these potentially life-saving services," said Dr. Karen Knudsen, CEO, American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Action Network. "We hope this program will close screening gaps by making the basics of screening – eligibility guidance; medical oversight/care; and support in finding and booking screenings covered by plans — available to all. This work is singularly focused on encouraging action by giving patients direct access paths that we know will overcome barriers."

“Until there's a cure, we know that early detection of lung cancer is the most important intervention,” said Othman Laraki, CEO, Color Health. “With a 6% screening rate across the U.S., we know that giving patients the direct tools to access care is more critical than ever. We're proud to support the ACS mission by making an impact on lung cancer across the country.” 

To gauge your risk for lung cancer and find out more about how to detect cancer early, click here.

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