ASRT supports new radiopharmaceutical legislation

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) has issued a statement in support of new legislation that would change the way key radiopharmaceuticals are bundled by CMS and simplify Medicare billing policies.

Diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals are defined as drugs, the ASRT explained in its statement, but CMS “treats the as supplies” by packaging them into procedural bundles. The group described this practice as “problematic.”

“The current process discourages hospitals to utilize innovative and targeted radiopharmaceuticals, limits investment in and research for new diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals and may impede patient access to the most appropriate diagnostic tools at readily accessible health care locations,” according to the statement. “In addition, it may also result in inaccurate diagnoses and ineffective treatment plans.”

The Medicare Diagnostic Radiopharmaceutical Payment Equity Act of 2019 (HR 3772) would address this issue by updating such bundling policies, a step that would increase patient access to key radiopharmaceuticals used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and numerous cancers.

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging and Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance have already expressed support for HR 3772.