CMS Approves Coverage for 18F-Sodium Fluoride (NaF) PET Bone Scans for Cancer Patients
On February 7, 2011 CMS approved coverage for PET bone scans in patients with known or suspected cancer. This coverage is provided through the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) and is for PET bone scans performed with 18F-Sodium Fluoride (NaF). The details of this new PET coverage for cancer patients are described below.
18F-Sodium Fluoride (NaF) PET Bone Scans
CMS is providing coverage for 18F-Sodium Fluoride (NaF) PET bone scans through NOPR for the following cancer indications:
Initial Treatment Strategies - - Diagnosis and Initial Staging
- Diagnosis of suspected osseous metastic disease in patients without a pathologically proven diagnosis of cancer.
- Initial Staging of a newly diagnosed cancer.
Subsequent Treatment Strategies—Restaging/Detection of Suspected Recurrence and Treatment Monitoring
Restaging/Detection of Suspected Recurrence
- Suspected new osseous metastasis as a site of recurrence or progression;
- Suspected progression of known osseous metastasis.
- Monitoring Treatment Response during systemic therapy (including chemotherapy, biologic modifiers, hormonal therapy, and immunotherapy);
- Monitoring Treatment Response during radiation therapy;
- Monitoring Treatment Response during COMBINED systemic therapy and radiation therapy.
- All of the above apply when a change in therapy is anticipated, i.e. if a patient is considered not to be responding to therapy as expected.
The Advantages of 18F-Sodium Fluoride (NaF) PET Bone Scans
When compared to conventional 99mTc-MDP Bone Scans, 18F-Sodium Fluoride (NaF) PET Bone Scans reportedly have several advantages, including:
- Shorter uptake and scan times (1 hour total vs. 4 hours total)
- Higher sensitivity
- Higher specificity
- Comparable radiation dose to conventional 99mTc-MDP bone scan.
To learn more about his new coverage, or to order an 18F-Sodium Fluoride (NaF) PET Bone Scan, please call (978) 689-4738.
New England PET Receives ACR Accreditation
New England PET Imaging System has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in PET Services as a result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
The ACR, headquartered in Reston, VA, awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of the practice. Evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. They assess the qualifications of the personnel and the adequacy of facility equipment. The surveyors report their findings to the ACR’s Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report.
The ACR is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.
New England PET in Merrimack Valley Magazine
Read our article on the application of PET for the treatment of breast cancer from Merrimack Valley Magazine.
National Oncologic PET Registry Study Article
See the article in Molecular Imaging Magazine describing how the NOPR study provides further evidence of PET’s important role in improving patient management in oncology.