February 7, 2013
Reston, VA - The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is disappointed that the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) does not believe that adequate evidence exists to determine whether brain amyloid imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) changes health outcomes.
SNMMI believes that the evidence—together with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval—supports the ability of beta amyloid imaging to change patient management, leading to better outcomes for patients. SNMMI urges the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to evaluate the evidence and provide coverage for brain amyloid imaging for the FDA-approved indication.
Several MEDCAC panelists expressed concerns on the possible inappropriate use of the test. SNMMI and the Alzheimer’s Association earlier this week released appropriate use criteria (AUC) for brain amyloid imaging (published online in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association) which address these concerns. The criteria recommend the use of brain amyloid imaging in those patients already experiencing cognitive impairment; they do not support its use in asymptomatic patients. SNMMI will soon be releasing a strong education program for those who will be referring patients and those who will be reading the scans. Additionally, SNMMI is developing technical procedure guidelines for ensuring quality in the performance of the procedures.
SNMMI appreciates the work of the MEDCAC and is committed to working with CMS on the continued development of further evidence of the effectiveness of brain amyloid imaging so that individuals suffering from dementia can have access to the best care possible.
About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, a vital element of today’s medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated and helping provide patients with the best health care possible.
SNMMI's more than 19,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit www.snmmi.org.
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