PET Expected to Increase in 2010

The 46 percent cut in single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) reimbursement and 22 percent inrease in positron emission tomography (PET) reimbursement the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing for 2010 has some speculating a significant rise in demand for cardiac PET in the coming years.

CMS is proposing to increase the 2010 PET reimbursement paid under the Outpatient Perspective Payment System (OPPS) by as much as $1,429 and maintain Rb82 reimbursement at $250 per dose, according to Positron Corp.

The proposed reduction in reimbursement for SPECT in 2010 includes elimination and/or bundling of additional billing codes.

“The nuclear medicine imaging community continues to face challenges with Cardiac SPECT due to Molybdenum shortages, cuts in reimbursement and an increase in operational costs,”  Positron comments in a Sept. 25 press release. 

The molecular imaging solutions company says the pressure on SPECT has caused physicians to revaluate their current technology offering and look to new sources of imaging income through PET.

The actual impact on SPECT and PET imaging services will not be known until CMS publishes the 2010 OPPS final rule in November.

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