Newswise — Two years after research physicians ran against a wall trying to get amyloid PET scans reimbursed by insurance, they now have their chance to prove the costly procedure is worth it. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the protocol for a four-year, $100 million study called Imaging Dementia—Evidence for Amyloid Scanning. This massive study aims to examine how well amyloid imaging performs in medical settings outside the small, rarefied world of clinical trials and tertiary academic care. IDEAS will measure whether getting a scan can improve the diagnosis, management, and future healthcare experience of people whose cognitive impairment cannot be definitively attributed to a cause by a clinical diagnosis alone. Under its coverage with evidence development (CED) mechanism, which requires research participation for reimbursement, the CMS will cover the cost of almost 18,500 patient scans from about 200 imaging centers around the country.

“We will learn a lot about how amyloid imaging functions in the real world,” said Gil Rabinovici, University of California, San Francisco, who is the study’s principal investigator. “The question of where it fits into our current diagnostic algorithm with the prevailing state of treatments is largely unanswered.” See full story.

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