The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reconsidering its coverage decision on sodium fluoride positron emission tomography (PET) scans. CMS opened a 30-day comment period in June 2009 to review evidence on the use of sodium fluoride F-18, a radioisotope used in PET imaging, to detect bone metastases of cancer.

The decision is in response to requests from several imaging organizations, such as the Society for Nuclear Medicine and the Academy of Molecular Imaging, which asked CMS to adopt a more comprehensive cancer coverage framework for PET.

CMS previously known as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), is a federal agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and health insurance portability standards. In addition to these programs, CMS has other responsibilities, including the administrative simplification standards from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), quality standards in long-term care facilities (more commonly referred to as nursing homes) through its survey and certification process, and clinical laboratory quality standards under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments.