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March 6, 2013
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  Top Stories 
  • Experts envision greater cardiac imaging role for PET
    PET is gaining momentum as an effective and preferred approach over SPECT for myocardial perfusion imaging in diagnosing coronary artery disease, thanks to improved resolution and other factors. However, experts say there are barriers to the use of PET in routine clinical practice, including pre-approval requirements, which could reduce access to testing. "We may be placing very high barriers for people to get access to some tests that are quite appropriate," said Dr. Marcelo Di Carli, chief of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. "While you are improving appropriateness, you also are reducing access for patients who need these studies.” (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Diet study fuels call for better data on heart health connections
    Cardiologists are calling for a closer examination of the relationship between diet and heart disease after a recent study showed the Mediterranean diet could be a powerful tool to prevent cardiovascular disease and death. The result could be better recommendations more grounded in science. "As we go on, we realize we know less and less," said Dr. Michael Lauer, director of the division of cardiovascular sciences at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. "We can despair and just make things up, or we can celebrate and say we have a real opportunity to grow here." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Medical Focus 
  • Despite difficult climate, imaging is essential for patients
    There is no doubt that molecular imaging can benefit patients, but there are challenges facing the field, writes Robert W. Atcher, editor-at-large of Molecular Imaging Insight. Pressure to limit costs and worries about radiation exposure pose hurdles, Atcher says, as does identifying the clinicians who can best interpret and maximize the value of the procedures. "The challenge to those of us who are champions of molecular imaging is to conduct clinical studies that not only demonstrate sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the exams but also show a positive impact on the cost of care and improvement in patient outcomes," writes Atcher. (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Regulatory & Policy 
  • Lawmakers reintroduce bill seeking to stop imaging fee cuts
    Lawmakers have revived the Diagnostic Imaging Services Access Protection Act. Similar to previous versions of the measure, the bill seeks to block a 25% cut in Medicare payments for the reading of advanced diagnostic imaging results. The bill would cover tests conducted on the same patient in a single procedure. (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Change fee-for-service model to cut spending, report advises
    Health care payment models that reimburse based on services rendered should be replaced with a blended model, according to a report from the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform. A more efficient model would reimburse better for diagnostics and management, incorporate quality metrics into reimbursement rates, eliminate differential payments based on facility, encourage small organizations to share resources and include fixed payments for certain patients. MedPage Today (free registration) (3/4), Kaiser Health News/Capsules blog (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASNC News 
  • Visit the ASNC Booth (#S3713) at ACC.13
    We hope you will visit us at our booth in the South Moscone Convention Center during your trip to ACC.13! ASNC staff will be on hand to share information about our services and programs for members, as well as to solicit feedback about educational opportunities, quality initiatives, health policy activities and more! Be sure to ask us about ASNC2013, which will be held Sept. 26-29, 2013, in Chicago! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The world is much more interesting than any one discipline."
--Edward Tufte,
American statistician and professor

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