Imaging societies urge CMS to reconsider covering NaF PET exams

The World Molecular Imaging Society, American College of Radiology, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging and members of the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) Working Group issued a statement Friday, June 8, urging CMS to reconsider its decision to decline coverage for PET imaging with sodium fluoride (NaF) for Medicare patients with metastatic cancer.

Back in May, CMS reiterated its decision not to provide coverage for NaF PET imaging, stating in a letter to the NOPR that the current evidence was still insufficient. The letter came after the NOPR Working Group submitted data to CMS in December 2017, requesting that the National Coverage Determination be changed.  

“We are disappointed that CMS did not open a reconsideration and allow public comment on the published evidence to support coverage for NaF PET,” Barry Siegel, MD, NOPR co-chair, said in the statement. “Many cancer patients would be helped by CMS reconsidering coverage for these exams.”

“Many seniors may ultimately receive care that is not as effective or helpful as it could be if CMS does not reconsider Medicare coverage for NaF PET,” Anthony Shields, MD, NOPR co-chair, said in the same statement. “This is a step backwards in care for these patients. We urge CMS to reconsider coverage so that these seniors can have access to care that can better help them.”