Groups tout value of nuclear medicine to Congress

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

September 17, 2020 -- Nuclear medicine and molecular imaging advocates held a virtual briefing with congressional staff in Washington, DC, on September 16 to urge Congress to ensure patients' access to nuclear medicine through passing the Medicare Diagnostic Radiopharmaceutical Payment Equity Act of 2019 (HR 3772).

Along with a caucus of physicians from across the U.S., representatives from the Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals (CORAR), the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA), and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) highlighted the impact of PET and nuclear medicine in cancer treatment, emphasizing that Medicare's current reimbursement policy for nuclear medicine is not adequate to ensure patient access to radiopharmaceutical diagnostic agents.

"The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services currently treats PET radiopharmaceuticals, including the drugs needed for diagnostic scans, as part of the packaged cost of the procedure in the hospital outpatient setting," MITA industry director of molecular imaging and PET Sue Bunning said in a statement released by the three advocacy groups. "This structure disincentivizes the utilization of many radiopharmaceuticals for Medicare patients, leading to limited patient access and stifled innovation."

The groups believe that passage of the Medicare Diagnostic Radiopharmaceutical Payment Equity Act of 2019 would address "structural flaws" in the current payment methodology and grant greater patient access to diagnostic PET radiopharmaceuticals for patients.


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