Are You Heard By Your United States Senator?

by Laurel J Pracht

Senator John McCain, Arizona, was a frequent recipient of letters advocating for Medicare coverage of PET scans for patients with malignancies.   At that time patients with ovarian cancer had to fund their own PET scan or not have a scan.  

Today is a day of remembrance of Senator McCain's service to our country.  I remember his requesting information from the Medicare Beneficiary Services Manager when a patient registry to gather efficacy data was bogged down by red tape.  His letter is dated May 16, 2006, later that month the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) began accruing patients.    This registry gathered sufficient data for PET scan efficacy, in fact 36.5% of patients' anticipated treatment was changed due to results of the scan.

The NOPR closed approximately a year ago,  over 100,000 PET scans were covered under "coverage with evidence development" (CED).  This would not have been possible without the assistance of Senator McCain.  

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