Publications & Research
The Beneficial Impact of PET Scanning on Cancer Management
Positron emission tomography (PET) is widely used in clinical oncology as one of the most impactful and effective means of diagnostic imaging methodology. However, Medicare reimbursement for PET scanning is currently only approved by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) for nine (9) specific oncology tumor types. Given that clinical oncologists deal with far more than nine tumor types, many patients with non-approved cancers such as pancreatic, ovarian and prostatic are being denied access to the complete spectrum of diagnostic measures they deserve. With this in mind, a group of doctors (in conjunction with CMS) set out to explore the potential benefits of PET scanning for patients with tumors not covered by Medicare. Employing a unique coverage with evidence development (CED) method, the study included data from more than 22,000 cases compiled over the span of one calendar year, with the participation of more than 80% of all PET centers in the United States. This marks the first time CMS has used CED for a national coverage decision (NCD) pertaining to diagnostic imaging methodology.