by Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | June 14, 2021
From the June 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
HCB News (www.dotmed.com/news) is a leading resource for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging current events.
In this section we recap some of the most impactful stories we’ve covered over the last several months. For more stories like these, visit our news site and click “Molecular Imaging” in the red navigation bar at the top of the screen. Registering for our online news is completely free.
US lawmakers call CMS radiopharmaceutical payment policy 'flawed'
U.S. Representatives Scott Peters (D.-CA) and Bobby Rush (D.-IL) called out CMS in April for what they say is a “flawed” Medicare reimbursement policy for the use of diagnostic imaging drugs.
The two have requested a meeting to discuss the policy, which treats diagnostic pharmaceuticals as “ancillary” to imaging procedures in hospitals. This, they say, has led to drug costs being “policy packaged” into the procedure amount, which causes the price of the drugs to exceed the cost of the packaged procedure itself.
“The flawed reimbursement policy utilized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services threatens patient access to these cutting-edge innovations by creating a disincentive for hospitals to use the most appropriate diagnostic drugs,” the two wrote in a letter this month to CMS.
MITA also hosted a meeting last month on the issue. “This ongoing problem undermines public health and incentivizes the use of less effective screening modalities,” said event master of ceremonies Michael Guastella, executive director of the Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals Inc. (CORAR), at the start of the meeting.
CMS had the chance to unpackage the drugs as part of its final payment rule issued in 2020, but decided against it, despite the advice of its advisory committee and imaging stakeholders, wrote Peters and Rush, who are requesting a meeting to change the policy “in light of the adverse impact on beneficiary access and care.”
RaySearch to distribute Canon CT and PET/CT solutions in the U.S.
Canon Medical Systems USA announced in April that it would distribute its Aquilion Large Bore CT and Celestion PET/CT solutions through RaySearch Laboratories’ U.S. sales force.
The agreement builds on an existing partnership between the two, focused on offering U.S. providers an integrated radiation oncology portfolio that creates more efficient workflows for finding optimal cancer treatment plans.
The Aquilion Large Bore CT offers the largest bore opening at 90 cm; a 70 cm field-of-view; and an 85 cm extended field of view. It weighs 660 lbs, which enables it to scan larger patients, and utilizes Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction 3D (AIDR 3D) technology to automatically reduce radiation dosage while maintaining spatial resolution and image texture.