It's final: CMS rejects NaF-PET coverage

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reaffirmed its decision not to reimburse for sodium fluoride (NaF) PET scans to detect bone metastases.

On December 15, the agency issued a final decision memorandum stating there is sufficient evidence to determine that using NaF-PET to identify cancerous bone metastases "is not reasonable and necessary." However, CMS will continue the requirement for coverage with evidence development (CED) for 24 months from the final date of the decision to allow for continued research on NaF-PET's efficacy.

The decision will once again be a disappointment to NaF-PET advocates and members of the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR), which collected data from imaging facilities for some five years on how NaF-PET influenced patient management.

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