August 6, 2021
On August 4, 2021, Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Facilitating Innovative Nuclear Diagnostics (FIND) Act of 2021 (S. 2609), legislation that would significantly expand patient access to advanced nuclear diagnostic imaging technologies. The bill aims for a legislative fix to CMS's bundling of diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals in the hospital outpatient space after a 3-year pass-through period post-FDA approval and mirrors companion legislation already introduced in the House (H.R. 4479).
SNMMI and its coalition partners, the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) and the Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals (CORAR)—in additional to dozens of patient advocacy organizations—praised the introduction. "We applaud the Senate introduction of this bill which will ensure patient access to the life-saving benefits of these innovative diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals, rectifying inequitable reimbursement due to CMS payment policies," stated Cathy S. Cutler, PhD, SNMMI Government Relations Committee and Committee on Radiopharmaceuticals Chair.
"Innovative technology like diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals are important tools in detecting and treating diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's," said Senator Blackburn. "The FIND Act would increase patient access to more cost-effective treatment options while promoting further research and development opportunities for medical manufacturers. I'm pleased to support this effort to improve critical patient care for the Volunteer State."
"Advanced nuclear medicine imaging procedures can improve health care outcomes by identifying and diagnosing diseases earlier, when they are most treatable," said Senator Baldwin. "I'm proud to introduce the FIND Act to expand access to this innovative technology and allow more Americans to benefit from earlier and clearer diagnosis so they can better understand their treatment options."
The FIND Act addresses structural issues in the packaging methodology used in the Medicare outpatient setting by directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to pay separately for all diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals with a cost threshold per day of $500. If passed, this bill would give patients greater access to a wide range of diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals that can better detect conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s disease, breast and prostate cancer, and neuroendocrine tumors. This legislation would also help providers better manage costs while delivering more targeted and cost-efficient care.
A virtual legislative briefing is planned for August 25th (3-4pm ET) for those interested in learning more about the bill. For more information on the FIND Act, please click here. To register for the briefing, please click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.