Cardiovascular CT summit unites payors, providers

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The Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) hosted a one-day conference on Dec. 4 to review with private and public healthcare payors current evidence to support appropriate use of cardiovascular CT angiography (CCTA).    

“[Because of the meeting,] we gained a better understanding of what must be done in order to ensure that those patients who may benefit from cardiac CT have financial access,” said Jack Ziffer, MD, SCCT president-elect, in a statement released by the SCCT.  

During the summit, representatives from SCCT presented payers with results and data from completed studies involving CCTA and discussed current studies in progress. The payers recognized the body of data already in place and were interested to hear about patient registries and randomized clinical trials currently being conducted. In particular, they expressed favorable impressions with a normal CCTA scan’s potential to eliminate unnecessary catheterization.

A registry currently being undertaken by SCCT in cooperation with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) generated an enthusiastic response from payers, as did a large head-to-head randomized clinical trial comparing stress imaging to CCTA in symptomatic patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD).  

There has also been significant progress in the randomized trials of CCTA in the emergency department (ED) and the payers agreed that there may soon be enough information available to set up coverage for CCTA in an ED setting, according to the statement.

The summit also helped to determine where further evidence development is necessary to extend coverage of CCTA. Payers explained they have raised the bar for coronary CTA and an improvement in patient outcomes should be established before widespread coverage is put into place.