The SNMMI Value Initiative: What You Need to Know

The SNMMI Value Initiative: What You Need to Know

Have you heard of the SNMMI Value Initiative?

Founded by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), the Value Initiative includes an industry alliance, of which Digirad is a member, providing a forum for the industry to work in partnership.

We are excited by the strategic vision for nuclear medicine that the Value Initiative involves. Here’s a closer look at what it’s all about:

What is the SNMMI Value Initiative?

The Value Initiative is described as SNMMI’s roadmap and strategic vision for working with industry and other partners. It aims to advance the crucial role of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging to the medical community, regulators, patients, and the public.

SNMMI recognizes that the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging is changing quickly. They hope to address these changes, engage with industry and demonstrate the value of the field. They also aim to elevate nuclear medicine among the medical community, patients, regulators and the public.

The Value Initiative involves six key areas with associated goals, chaired by experts in the field.

What are the Six Key Areas of the SNMMI Value Initiative?

Here are the six domains of the Value Initiative:

1. Quality of Practice

This area is chaired by Gary L. Dillehay, MD, FACNM, FACR, FSNMMI of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The goal of the domain is to ensure that SNMMI members are known for high-quality, value-driven performance, and delivery of patient-centered nuclear medicine practice.

SNMMI plans to enable these high-quality desired outcomes through delivery of efficient, effective and patient-centered nuclear medicine practice by its members.

There are six Quality of Practice tactics with associated goals:

  1. Increase the development and dissemination of clinical guidance documents, including appropriate use criteria.
  2. Ensure the development of value/quality metrics for nuclear medicine.
  3. Improve the quality of nuclear medicine by standardizing best practices to enhance operational efficiency.
  4. Expand continuing education options for practitioners.
  5. Facilitate new service lines in nuclear medicine clinical settings.
  6. Improve recognition of the value of nuclear medicine.

2. Research and Discovery

This domain is chaired by Richard L. Wahl, MD, FACNM, FACR; Washington University School of Medicine. The goal of this domain is for SNMMI to advance the development and approval of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging technologies, including therapies.

As they state, “Realizing that innovation is essential for our field, our science should promote and encourage these advancements. Sufficient funding is an overarching issue for research, and we will strive to increase funding from a variety of sources.”

There are five Research and Discovery tactics with associated goals:

  1. Encourage and promote research in the field.
  2. Increase the number of initiatives targeting the discovery and validation of diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals, radiotherapeutics and instrumentation.
  3. Improve the quality of nuclear medicine trials and literature.
  4. Increase funding for research grants
  5. Enhance research on how nuclear medicine data can be implemented clinically in conjunction with informatics, etc.

3. Workforce Pipeline and Life-Long Learning

This domain is chaired by Frederick D. Grant, MD; Boston Children’s Hospital. The goal of the Workforce Pipeline and Life-Long Learning domain is “to ensure that SNMMI will continue to innovate and collaborate to retain and expand the diverse pool of qualified professionals working in the field, making society the epicenter of all things related to nuclear medicine.”

There are six tactics with associated goals:

  1. Increase the supply of physicians qualified to practice nuclear medicine.
  2. Increase the number of nuclear medicine/diagnostic radiology residents in the field of nuclear medicine.
  3. Increase the supply of qualified nuclear medicine scientists.
  4. Increase recognition of SNMMI as the professional home of all nuclear medicine professionals irrespective of the training pathway.
  5. Increase awareness of nuclear medicine/molecular imaging as an appealing and rewarding field for students interested in STEM careers.
  6. Increase recognition of nuclear medicine technologists as the technical experts in performing nuclear medicine imaging and therapy.

4. Advocacy

The advocacy domain is chaired by Munir Ghesani, MD, FACNM of NYU Langone Medical Center. The goal of this domain is to promote awareness among policymakers about the NM/MI field.

“Paramount in this area is cooperative work with other organizations and outreach with regulatory agencies and the legislature to advocate for a better approval, coverage and reimbursement process for NM/MI drugs, devices, diagnostic procedures, and therapies.”

There are eleven Advocacy tactics:

  1. Work with other organizations and insurers to optimize reimbursement of current and future agents through the CPT, RUC and Medicare coverage processes.
  2. Seek legislative changes to have high-value radiopharmaceuticals reimbursed appropriately.
  3. Maintain Coding and Reimbursement website for members and their staff.
  4. Become the key organization working with payers and benefit managers for appropriate expansions of coverage and payment. Work with other interested parties to overturn CMS’s national non-coverage decision for PET outside of oncology.
  5. Invite CMS’s Director of Coverage to speak at our Annual Meeting, FDA officials as well as work to host a stakeholder forum with FDA, CMS, and NRC.
  6. Consistently advocate in legislative and regulatory venues about work that’s being done in the field to foster greater understanding and support of NM/MI work.
  7. Monitor relevant legislative and regulatory issues at the state level and engage with those bodies as appropriate.
  8. Work to educate FDA and USP through comments on proposed changes and via input at expert committee meetings about the compounding of radiopharmaceuticals.
  9. Focus Congressional contacts on key members of Congress and engage our members in their states or districts.
  10. Sponsor an event, send communications to the Hill, submit testimony for Congressional Hearing. Consider education programs, and/or an awards ceremony to raise awareness and recognize the work of those supporting pro-NM/MI legislation.
  11. Send SNMMI representatives to meetings monitoring the Mo99 supply situation, report back and consider actions if issues arise. Support additional funding for DOE’s expansion efforts.

5. Outreach

The Outreach domain is chaired by Vasken Dilsizian, MD of University of Maryland School of Medicine. The goal of this domain is to ensure that patients and the medical community recognize the value of nuclear medicine, molecular imaging and radionuclide therapy.

“We will focus on promoting nuclear medicine and positioning SNMMI as the worldwide leader in molecular imaging and radionuclide therapy.”

There are six Outreach tactics with associated goals:

  1. Increase the number of patients advocating in support of the value of radiopharmaceuticals.
  2. Increase referring physicians’ awareness of new radiopharmaceuticals.
  3. Improve collaboration with other medical societies.
  4. Increase SNMMI’s outreach efforts and resources within the imaging community.
  5. Increase outreach to hospital administrators.
  6. Expand financial resources dedicated to outreach activities.

6. Organizational Strength and Stability

Lastly, the initiative is focusing on developing the organizational and operational depth needed to advocate for the role of nuclear medicine in the healthcare market.

Final thoughts

An overall goal of the Value Initiative is to bring industry professionals together, and lead a transformation in the field to further advance targeted medicine.

By participating as part of the industry alliance, Digirad hopes to make a strong contribution to the future of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging along with our fellow alliance collaborators.

Want to learn more? Download the Latest SNMMI Value Initiative Newsletter.


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