AMIC slams MedPAC efforts

March 17, 2009

Cardinal Health opens PET facility for Cornhuskers SonoSite migrates high-end technology to vets

AMIC slams MedPAC efforts

The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) sounded alarm bells March 16 that federal efforts to rein in costs were affecting patient access to medical imaging and that government-sponsored studies were understating the damage caused. The coalition of physician, patient, and imaging manufacturer groups decried government-sponsored studies of the impact of the Deficit Reduction Act, which took effect two years ago. They also raised concerns about pending efforts by MedPAC (Medicare Payment Advisory Commission) to change metrics for Medicare reimbursement addressing the utilization of imaging equipment. AMIC challenged the government efforts led by MedPAC the day before a House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee hearing on the annual report to Congress on Medicare payment policy submitted by the advisory commission. The commission was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 to advise Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program.

Cardinal Health opens PET facility for Cornhuskers

A cyclotron newly installed by Cardinal Health in Omaha has begun supplying fluorine-18 to the company's nearby radiopharmacy. Cardinal Health is processing the raw material and distributing the resulting FDG from its Omaha radiopharmacy. The new cyclotron can also produce other PET agents besides FDG, including ones now being used in clinical trials, according to the company.

SonoSite migrates high-end technology to vets

SonoRemote has gone to the dogs, horses, and other large animals. Its maker, hand-carried ultrasound pioneer SonoSite is porting high-end technology introduced in point-of-care medical equipment to the veterinary marketplace. The company plans to release a remote control for veterinary ultrasound systems in the spring. It is already shipping a new transducer for reproductive and musculoskeletal applications in horses and other large animals, bringing to eight the number of veterinary probes released by the company for use on its equipment. The new probe is compatible with SonoSite's M-Turbo and S-VetMed scanners. Its SonoRemote control, based on Bluetooth wireless technology, allows voice- or touch-activated control from 10 meters away.