SNM praises CMS decision to expand reimbursement for cancer treatment

January 09, 2009

Reston, Va.--On Jan. 6, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a draft of their proposed positron emission tomography (PET) national coverage determination (NCD). This proposed legislation would allow for reimbursement of PET by the federal government for patients with all types of cancer. The proposed decision expands coverage to include cancer staging and restaging, in addition to initial diagnosis. Two important items in the CMS draft include a proposal to replace coverage for "diagnosis, staging and restaging and treatment" with "initial treatment" and "subsequent treatment." A public comment period on these and other items will continue through Feb. 5. A final decision is expected in April 2009.

In concert with other nonprofit medical associations, SNM has worked closely with CMS over the past three years to increase access to these medically essential molecular imaging procedures used for the diagnosis, staging and restaging of cancer. Molecular imaging provides a rich portrait of exactly what is going on in a patient's body, offering a wealth of useful information to help shape a treatment plan.

"We are highly encouraged by the CMS proposal to broaden reimbursement for PET for Medicare beneficiaries who are being treated for cancer," said SNM President Robert W. Atcher, Ph.D., M.B.A. "Because PET is a minimally invasive imaging procedure that gives physicians critical information for patient care, expanded use of the technique in cancer diagnosis and treatment will help tailor the patient's treatment to their current stage of the disease."

In 2006, a nationwide study--the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR)--was established to collect data in response to a proposal from CMS to expand coverage for PET to include cancers and indications not presently eligible for Medicare reimbursement. Overwhelmingly, the data collected showed that PET has significant advantages for diagnosing, staging and restaging many types of cancer. According to a study published last year in The Journal of Clinical Oncology, PET resulted in a change in management of treatment in more than one-third of cancer patients, regardless of the type of cancer.

"This is a critical step in gaining access to critical molecular imaging and nuclear medicine tests for people nationwide with all forms of cancer," added Atcher.
-end-
NOPR is sponsored by the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI), and managed by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and ACR Imaging Network (ACRIN). The registry received input from--and is endorsed by--ACR, the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and SNM. The NOPR Working Group was chaired by Bruce Hillner, M.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University and co-chaired by Barry Siegel, M.D., Washington University; R. Edward Coleman, M.D., Duke University; and Anthony Shields, M.D., Wayne State University.

About SNM

SNM is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about what molecular imaging is and how it can help provide patients with the best health care possible. SNM members specialize in molecular imaging, a vital element of today's medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated.

SNM's more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit www.snm.org.

Society of Nuclear Medicine

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.