From 2008 to 2009, respondents overall exhibited strong growth in PET volumes (I'm referring to PET volumes that are performed on either PET scanners or hybrid PET/CT scanners).
Here are the growth rate results for that time period:
25th Percentile: -0.5%
75th Percentile: 17.9%
So according to the survey, the median facility was performing right around the expected national average for growth according to our outpatient volume estimates. However, in the first quarter of 2010, those numbers declined significantly. Here are the percentiles for Q1 2009 volumes versus Q1 2010 volumes.
25th Percentile: -9.8%
75th Percentile: 2.5%
The results seem to corroborate some of the anecdotal reports we were hearing from members regarding declining PET/CT volumes in 2010. This decline is occuring soon after Medicare expanded their coverage policy for the technology. Increasing unemployment and loss of insurance are probably the main contributors here, but it is also worth noting that private payers and radiology benefits managers remain inconsistent in their approval of preauthorizations for PET scans. We think that private payers and RBMs have yet to fully catch up to Medicare in their coverage expansion, and their appropriateness algorithms may not have been fully updated.