s05a.jpg (9094 bytes)Nuclear Medicine: PET Projects Rule
Without a doubt, positron emission tomography (PET) continues to take the nuclear medicine market by storm.

PET technology on its own — admittedly aided by new reimbursement rate codes for oncology applications by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) over the past two-plus years — has provided a much-desired market boost for the nuclear medicine industry. PET’s integration with computed tomography (CT) to create fused anatomical and biological images also bodes well for PET’s potential and the overall nuclear medicine market as well.

In a June 2001 report, market research firm Frost & Sullivan (San Jose, Calif.) predicts that PET revenues could quadruple to more than $880 million by 2007. The study estimated PET revenues of $216 million in 2000. If the forecast holds true, PET’s dramatic rise in sales could surpass gamma camera revenues as soon as this year.

The report also predicted — somewhat prophetically — that one factor that would stifle the market is a reduction in reimbursement rates for PET imaging procedures.

On Nov. 30, 2001, CMS decreased the reimbursement rates for PET imaging with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) to $1,375 for this year. While that rate is a far cry from the rate of $2,331 in 2001, it is greater than CMS’ initially proposed rate of $841.50. (See news on page 8 for more details.)

Please refer to the January 2002 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis