WATCH: SNMMI Members Talk Nuclear Medicine at Congressional Policy Briefing on Capitol Hill

July 24, 2019

Congressional staff and members of the public gather to learn about diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals.

On July 17, SNMMI co-hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill with clinicians, patients, and industry representatives to discuss the importance of nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiopharmacuticals, and specifically, H.R. 3772, also known as the Medicare Diagnostic Radiopharmaceutical Payment Equity Act of 2019. The bill calls for all diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals that reach a cost of more than $500 per day to be paid separately in the Hospital Outpatient Perspective Payment System. 

The change in reimbursement would correct the current flawed payment policy, under which many hospitals can't afford to offer these procedures. Successful enactment of the bill would be enormously significant for patients, helping ensure they get the best and most appropriate care possible.

SNMMI President Vasken Dilsizian, MD, discussing prostate cancer treatment response.  

Josh Mailman, MBA, shares what life is like as a neuroendocrine patient.  
President Vasken Dilsizian, MD, Senator Ben Cardin, Sukhjeet Ahuja MD, MS, Ira Goldman (Lantheus), and Rosemary Cioti (FORCE) meet to discuss H.R. 3772.  

Speakers for the briefing included SNMMI President Vasken Dilsizian, professor of Radiology and Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Josh Mailman, chairman of the SNMMI Patient Advocacy Advisory Board and president of the NorCal CarciNET Community, as well as Terri Wilson, senior director of patient access and healthcare policy at Blue Earth Diagnostics and chair of the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Positron Emission Tomography Group.

“Diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals are incredibly effective in the diagnosis of a number of different diseases, including prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and others,” noted Dilsizian. “We’ve really only scratched the surface of potential with these technologies, and I expect we’ll see future improvements in these diagnostic tools if policy is adjusted to better reflect patient need.”

As a neuroendocrine tumor (NETS) patient, Mailman, offered a patient perspective on the benefits of radiopharmaceutical imaging. “Having advanced imaging available for neuroendocrine tumors patients is critical, as these advancements have helped clinicians determine the location and the extent of disease so they can better plan appropriate therapy for improved patient outcomes.”

Following the congressional briefing, SNMMI members met with more than forty congressional offices asking for support of H.R. 3772. 

**On Monday, July 29, SNMMI launched a letter-writing campaign in support of H.R. 3772, the Medicare Diagnostic Radiopharmaceutical Payment Equity Act of 2019. Learn more about how you can get involved. For more information, contact Dalton Clark, manager of government affairs for SNMMI.**

You can watch the policy briefing in its entirety by clicking below.