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GE Healthcare Applauds CMS for Supporting National FDG-PET Coverage Decision
Date:4/7/2009

Expanded Medicare coverage of PET scans improves access for patients to needed cancer diagnosis tool

WAUKESHA, Wis., April 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- GE Healthcare, a global leader in healthcare technology, supports the recent national coverage determination (NCD) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), expanding coverage for initial testing with positron emission tomography (PET) for Medicare beneficiaries who are diagnosed with and treated for most solid tumor cancers.

"I'm very encouraged by the CMS determination that PET scans are 'reasonable and necessary' for the initial treatment decisions for most solid tumors," said Mark Vachon, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Americas. "With this decision, more patients will have the necessary access to new PET technologies; therefore, leading to effective treatment options based on the needs of the individual patient."

Under the National Coverage Determination, Medicare will cover one FDG-PET study related to initial treatment decisions for beneficiaries who have solid tumors that are either biopsy proven or are strongly suspected based on other diagnostic testing. Several tumors are excluded or restricted from this coverage, including prostate, breast cancer and melanoma.

GE Healthcare also applauds the contribution of the Academy of Molecular imaging (AMI) on providing the evidence and testimony the CMS requested in reaching this decision. GE Healthcare continues to support the concept of evidence-based medicine in all our technology development as exemplified by the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR). NOPR was sponsored by the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI) and managed by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and ACR Imaging Network (ACRIN). The registry received input from -- and is endorsed by -- ACR, the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM).

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to the fullest.

GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.


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