As we approach the March 1 sequestration cut deadline, concern is escalating over how the imminent $85 billion in budget slashes will actually affect various federal agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Because Medicare spending constitutes a large proportion of the nation’s hefty bill, it is a major target for reform. The debt ceiling crisis and its associated focus on cost-reduction comes on the heels of the fiscal cliff deal, which included $800 million in cuts to physician office Medicare payments for advanced medical imaging.
These recent financial crises have reinforced what the medical community has known for some time: health care costs, especially costly imaging exams, will be subject to increased scrutiny. Many health care providers are entering accountable care organization (ACO) environments, and the importance of cost-cutting across the continuum of care is doubly important.
How will federal budget cuts impact your imaging investment strategy?
Christopher Pericak and Caitlin Visek
Despite buzz at the recent ASTRO meeting about new radiation therapy technology, the ViewRay platform, we've seen a sharp falloff in chatter about this innovative technology. Our research team has spoken to several early adopters, but questions from interested buyers have been few and far between. This is somewhat unexpected, since the technology gets us closer than ever to the “holy grail” of radiation therapy: real-time adaptive treatment.
Can’t risk purchasing the ViewRay platform? Try MRI simulation.
Angiogenesis inhibitors, such as Avastin, are some of the most exciting tumor-killing drugs to emerge recently. As tumors grow larger than a few millimeters, they consume more resources and require an increased blood supply. Tumors use growth factors such as VEGF to stimulate vascular growth, or angiogenesis, to redirect blood for continued growth or metastasis. Angiogenesis inhibitors interfere with VEGF, essentially starving the tumor.
DCE-MRI: Old technique, new applications