Providers, industry, patient stakeholders applaud introduction of Facilitating Innovative Nuclear Diagnostics (FIND) Act of 2021
July 21, 2021
Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today applauded Congressmen Scott Peters (D-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Neal Dunn (R-FL) and Greg Murphy (R-NC) for introducing The Facilitating Innovative Nuclear Diagnostics (FIND) Act of 2021 (H.R.4479), legislation that would significantly expand patient access to advanced nuclear diagnostic imaging technologies.
The FIND Act addresses structural issues in the packaging methodology used in the Medicare outpatient setting by directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to pay separately for all diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals with a cost threshold per day of $500. If passed, this bill would give patients greater access to a wide range of diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals that can better detect conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer's & Parkinson's disease, breast & prostate cancer, and neuroendocrine tumors. This legislation would also help providers better manage costs while delivering more targeted and cost-efficient care.
"In San Diego and across the country, health care innovation has allowed doctors to diagnose, monitor, and treat some of the most aggressive and least understood diseases. Expanding access and affordability to these resources is critical,"said Rep. Peters. "Our bill will provide doctors with radiopharmaceutical diagnostic tools to help their patients find the answers they need to effectively and efficiently treat their illnesses."
"We cannot tolerate a two-tiered health care system — one for the rich, and one for everyone else. Unfortunately, many low-income and minority patients are being denied access to the most efficient tests, therapies, and care due to the current payment structure for diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals that makes it nearly impossible for many hospitals serving our most vulnerable populations to offer these life-saving diagnostics. The FIND Act is important legislation to help fix this disparity," said Rep. Rush. "Alzheimer's disease, prostate cancer, and other life-altering conditions have a disproportionate impact on Black Americans and other minority communities. Ensuring that the best diagnostic tools are available to identify these diseases in patients earlier, when they are the most treatable, is essential."
"America leads the world in medical research and innovation – but far too often, patients are unable to access the benefits of innovative medical technologies because of outdated Medicare reimbursement policy," added Rep. Dunn. "The FIND Act is a common-sense, bipartisan proposal to address these current reimbursement problems, giving patients access to the diagnostic tools they need, when they need them. Early detection saves lives and we must do what we can to expand access to these life-saving tools."
"Passage of the FIND Act will give patients and their physicians the tools they need to diagnose life-threatening diseases sooner- when they are most treatable," said Rep. Murphy. "Already, we've seen that nuclear medicine has the potential to play a larger role in diagnosing advanced disease, including prostate and breast cancer. By finding and confirming these diseases earlier we can not only reduce downstream costs but more importantly, save lives."
"The FIND Act represents a much needed, bi-partisan legislative solution that would modernize CMS payment policies for diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals and expand beneficiary access to diagnostic modalities that can improve outcomes and reduce downstream medical costs," said Sue Bunning, MITA Industry Director of Molecular Imaging & PET. "As an added benefit, the bill would also encourage innovators, product developers, and other stakeholders in the medical technology space to devote more resources towards the research and development of more advanced diagnostic technologies, yielding immeasurable benefits to future generations of patients."
MITA is the collective voice of manufacturers of medical imaging equipment, radiopharmaceuticals, contrast media, and focused ultrasound therapeutic devices. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for medical imaging innovations. These products include: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), medical X-Ray equipment, computed tomography (CT) scanners, ultrasound, nuclear imaging, radiopharmaceuticals, and imaging information systems. MITA Member company technologies are an important part of our nation's healthcare infrastructure and are essential for the screening, diagnosis, staging, managing and effectively treating patients with cancer, heart disease, neurological degeneration, and numerous other medical conditions.