New appropriate use criteria from SNMMI for cancer docs ordering PET/CT

Oncologists and other clinicians working to restage cancers or assess the disease’s response to treatment have new appropriate use criteria for ordering a proven-effective imaging tool for these purposes.

The tool is PET/CT with the radiotracer fludeoxyglucose (FDG), and the criteria have been published by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).

In an announcement sent Oct. 24, SNMMI notes this is the fourth AUC it has put together in its role as a qualified provider-led entity under Medicare’s AUC program for advanced diagnostic imaging.

The group focused on FDG PET/CT criteria out of its interest in helping referring physicians meet the requirements of the 2014 Protecting Access to Medicare Act.

SNMMI points out that CMS has proposed pushing back the start date for when providers will be mandated to consult qualified AUC from January 2018—the start date under current regulations—to January 2019.

Along with SNMMI members, the workgroup that put together the FDG PET/CT criteria included experts from the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), according to the announcement.

The society’s other recently released AUC cover bone scintigraphy in prostate and breast cancer, ventilation/perfusion imaging in pulmonary embolism and hepatobiliary scintigraphy in abdominal pain.

SNMMI says its guidance oversight committee is now developing AUC for a number of other indications, including infection imaging, prostate cancer imaging, and thyroid imaging and therapy.

For more on the organization’s new AUC on ordering FDG PET/CT for restaging cancers and assessing treatment response, click here.