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Broader Medicare PET coverage promises to cut costs, streamline patient management

April 6, 2009 Diagnostic Imaging. Broader Medicare PET coverage promises to cut costs, streamline patient management By H.A. Abella Nuclear physicians praised the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' decision to expand Medicare coverage of PET scans in the initial treatment strategy of most solid cancers and myeloma. More than a third of Medicare patients will now be able to get PET scans without going through the National Oncologic PET Registry. "The vast majority of Medicare patients will now have coverage outside of coverage with evidence development," said Dr. Barry Siegel, director of nuclear medicine at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology and cochair of the NOPR Working Group, in an interview with Diagnostic Imaging. "They will have routine coverage, and that will relieve a substantial paperwork burden for many cases and their physicians." According to the decision memo published April 3, CMS will replace four previous coverage categories, including diagnosis, staging, restaging, and monitoring response to treatment, with a two-part system. The new national coverage determination (NCD) will be used to differentiate FDG-PET scans done to plan initial tumor treatment strategy from further imaging needed to guide patient management after the completion of initial treatment.

See full article and related articles at DiagnosticImaging.com
This article was republished with permission from CMPMedica, LLC

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