The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) has formally congratulated the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI), the American College of Radiology (ACR) and ACR Imaging Network (ACRIN) on the recent release of significant data from the National Oncologic PET Registry that dramatically illustrate the effectiveness of PET in the diagnosis of cancer.
The study, reported in an article published March 24 online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, analyzed data from nearly 23,000 patients contributed by more than 1,200 facilities nationwide. It showed that clinicians changed the intended care of more than one in three cancer patients as the result of FDG-PET scan findings.
In response to this data, the NOPR has formally asked the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider the current National Coverage Decision on FDG-PET to end the data collection requirements for diagnosis, staging and restaging. CMS said it will review the data and issue their decision regarding reimbursement for PET scans covered only through the NOPR.
The authors believe that "the data collected by NOPR fulfills an unmet need with its primary scientific aim of measuring the impact of PET on patient management in a manner that is minimally intrusive to care providers." They also state that "our findings are representative of Medicare patients for whom PET would be ordered if it were covered by CMS for the expanded indications."
The NOPR was developed in response to a proposal from CMSto expand coverage for FDG-PET to include cancers and indications not presently eligible for Medicare reimbursement, including cancers of the ovary, uterus, prostate, pancreas, stomach, kidney and bladder. Medicare reimbursement for these cancers was provided if the patient's referring physician and provider submitted data to NOPR to assess the impact of PET on cancer patient management, according to SNM.
For more information about the NOPR, please visit www.cancerpetregistry.org.