The economic impact of a nurse practitioner-directed lung cancer screening, incidental pulmonary nodule, and tobacco-cessation clinic.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery


advanced registered practitioner; finance/revenue; incidental pulmonary nodule; lung cancer screening; tobacco-related diseases


OBJECTIVE: Lung cancer screening programs have become increasingly prevalent within the United States after the National Lung Screening Trial results. We aimed to review the financial impact after programmatic implementation of Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner-led programs of Lung Cancer Screening and Tobacco Related Diseases, Incidental Pulmonary Nodule Clinic, and Tobacco Cessation Services.

METHODS: We reviewed revenue from 2013 to 2016 by our nurse practitioner-led program. Encounters were queried for charges related to outpatient evaluation and management, professional procedures, and facility charges related to both outpatient and inpatient procedures. Revenue was normalized using 2016 data tables and the national Medicare conversion factor (35.8043).

RESULTS: Our program evaluated 694 individuals, of whom 75% (518/694) are enrolled within the lung cancer-screening program. Overall revenue associated with the programs was $733,336. Outpatient evaluation and management generated revenue of $168,372. In addition, professional procedure revenue accounted for an additional $60,015 with facility revenue adding an additional $504,949.

CONCLUSIONS: A nurse practitioner-led program of lung cancer screening, incidental pulmonary nodules, and tobacco-cessation services can provide additional revenue opportunities for a Thoracic Surgery and Interventional Pulmonology Division, as well as a health care system. The current national, median annual wage of a nurse practitioner is $98,190, and the cost associated directly to their salary (and benefits) may remain neutral or negative within certain programs. However, the larger economic benefit may be realized within the division and institution. This potential additional revenue appears related to evaluation of newly identified diseases and subsequent evaluations, procedures, and operations.

Clinical Institute







Population Health