News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | September 17, 2021

Bicameral legislation in U.S. House and Senate designed to address equity issues in patient access and affordability for innovative diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals

Bicameral legislation in U.S. House and Senate designed to address equity issues in patient access and affordability for innovative diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals

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September 17, 2021 — Blue Earth Diagnostics, a Bracco company and recognized leader in the development and commercialization of innovative PET radiopharmaceuticals, announced its support of legislation recently introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The bicameral, bipartisan bill, known as the “Facilitating Innovative Nuclear Diagnostics Act,” or the FIND Act of 2021 (H.R. 4479/S. 2609), would reform the current Medicare payment system to improve Medicare beneficiaries’ access to innovative technologies and safeguard appropriate payment to hospitals for innovative diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals.

The U.S. healthcare system relies on diagnostic imaging radiopharmaceuticals and nuclear medicine to inform patient management and assess disease severity and progression across a wide variety of medical conditions. According to the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), more than 20 million Americans benefit each year from nuclear medicine procedures.

Although diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals are appropriately defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as drugs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) categorizes them as “supplies” by packaging them, after an initial three-year period, alongside nuclear medicine services, into “bundles” for procedures that are conducted in hospital outpatient settings. Bundling payment often reimburses only a fraction of the actual cost of newer diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals and impedes the scientific advancement of new products that can help patients. Procedural bundling results in hospitals not receiving appropriate payment, and patients’ access to advanced diagnostic imaging radiopharmaceuticals may be restricted or denied. The FIND Act, if passed, would help give patients greater access to a wide range of advanced diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals for conditions such as prostate and breast cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s disease, and neuroendocrine tumors.

“Blue Earth Diagnostics is the recognized leader in diagnostic PET prostate cancer imaging, and in line with our commitment to deliver innovative solutions that inform patient care, we fully support legislative passage of the FIND Act,” said Terri Wilson, President, Blue Earth Diagnostics, Inc. “The FIND Act can correct CMS payment policies to provide patients with equity in access and payment, and encourage ongoing development of targeted radiopharmaceuticals that can have transformative effects in patient lives.”

For more information: www.blueearthdiagnostics.com

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