How Available is Positron Emission Tomography in the United States?
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Positron emission tomography (PET) has become a major clinical diagnostic and prognostic tool for oncology and multiple other arenas. To some, however, the perception exists that PET is not available as a resource in their community. Our goal with this project was to determine how available clinical PET was in the United States.
We used existing lists of PET centers, websites from PET scanner manufacturers, as well as a common Internet search engine to find clinical PET facilities. A mapping program was then used to determine area coverage with a 75-mile radius for each PET scanner found, and the United States Census website was utilized as a source of population data for covered and not covered areas.
We found that 97% of the US population lives within 75 miles of a clinical PET facility.
Thus, it appears that the idea of clinical PET being unavailable to many is a misconception, which may be limiting its use by some physicians who are unaware of how common it has become.
Key wordsPET availability United States Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Reimbursement Mobile PET
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