CMS Weighs Expanding Coverage of PET Cancer Scans

March 19, 2015

In the latest round of battles over Medicare payments for positron-emission tomography, or PET, scans, federal officials are considering a request to greatly widen coverage for a form of the test to track whether cancers have spread to the bones.

Doctors who oversee a key research body for use of PET scans in cancer patients have asked for national Medicare coverage of a version of test that uses a form of sodium fluoride to check for unusual growths in bones. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now limits its payment for this product to people who participate in the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR), a requirement that is part of the agency’s “coverage with evidence development” approach to evaluating products.

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