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SCAI Applauds CMS Decision to Continue Coverage of Cardiac CT Scans
Date:3/14/2008

New Technology Invaluable for Rapid Detection of Coronary Heart Disease

WASHINGTON, March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) welcomed the decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make no change to its coverage for cardiac computed tomographic angiography (CTA) for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease.

CMS will maintain its national coverage decision for this important tool for detecting heart disease. Coverage will continue to be determined by local contractors though the local coverage determination (LCD) process or on a case-by-case basis.

"We are pleased to see CMS decided to make no changes to its coverage of this important tool for diagnosing coronary artery disease," said Bonnie Weiner, M.D., MSEC, MBA, FSCAI, president of SCAI.

SCAI was one of six professional medical societies that urged CMS to reconsider plans to review its coverage policy for CTA. On Jan. 11, SCAI joined with the American College of Cardiology, American College of Radiology, Society for Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, and North American Society for Cardiac Imaging in a letter to CMS stressing the value of cardiac CTA in patient care.

The agency had been considering limiting Medicare coverage for CTA to symptomatic patients with chronic stable angina at intermediate risk of coronary artery disease or symptomatic patients with unstable angina at a low risk of short-term death and intermediate risk of coronary artery disease. CMS had proposed that only patients enrolled in clinical studies could receive Medicare payment for these clinical indications. Under the proposed plan, all other uses of cardiac CTA for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (including screening) would have not been covered.

"Allowing continued payment for CTA under the existing local coverage determinations is great news for our patients," said John McB. Hodgson, M.D., FSCAI, past SCAI president. "In the past year many clinical trials have documented the accuracy, prognostic value, and cost-effectiveness of CTA for rapidly diagnosing coronary artery disease. The CMS decision will allow further scientific study to continue at an even more rapid pace, and strengthens our position that this technology should be available for all patients."

About SCAI

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions is a 4,000-member professional organization representing invasive and interventional cardiologists in 70 nations. SCAI's mission is to promote excellence in invasive and interventional cardiovascular medicine through physician education and representation, and advancement of quality standards to enhance patient care. SCAI's annual meeting has become the leading venue for education, discussion, and debate about the latest developments in this dynamic medical specialty.


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SOURCE The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography andInterventions
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