The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed to continue for one year its coverage of Sodium Fluoride F-18 ( NaF-18) PET for bone metastases of cancer when data on its use are included in a clinical data registry. The agency says that this should be enough time for additional analyses to determine if such scans change how physicians manage patients and improve survival or quality of life.
The agency agreed in 2010 to cover such scans under its coverage with evidence development program, which required collection of data on the use of the scans in a clinical registry. Through 2014, the registry had collected data from 35,468 scans performed on 28,713 patients. The physicians who directed the registry requested earlier this year that CMS lift its data reporting requirement because the large volume of data already collected demonstrated the value of using the procedure in guiding cancer care.
CMS said it would reconsider its proposed decision after the additional analyses are published. The agency is seeking comments on the proposed decision.