The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has convened this meeting for the panel to review available evidence and hear public testimony on the use of beta amyloid PET imaging for the management of dementia and neurodegenerative disease. CMS is interested in the clinical impact of this technology on health outcomes experienced by patients.
PET is a minimally-invasive diagnostic imaging test. An injected radioactive tracer gives off subatomic particles, known as positrons, as it decays. PET uses a positron camera (tomograph) to measure the decay of these radioisotopes. The rate of tracer decay provides biochemical information on the tissue being studied. Certain PET tracers allow imaging of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain. It has been asserted that identification of such beta amyloid plaque can inform the clinical management of patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for possible Alzheimer's disease or other causes cognitive decline.
Medicare currently does not cover beta amyloid PET imaging. Medicare addresses coverage of PET in section 220.6 of the National Coverage Determination (NCD) manual at: http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/Downloads/ncd103c1_Part4.pdf