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CEUS News Updates

Medgadget Nov 17, 2018

The field of ultrasound contrast imaging has been literally bursting since the last decade. The advancement in ultrasound technologies over the last decade have resulted in widespread usage of ultrasound contrast imaging for clinical applications. This technology is preferred by most researchers due to low-cost, convenience, and real-time capability. In addition, as compared to imaging modalities, ultrasound imaging has good temporal resolution, quantitative data, real-time practice, noninvasiveness, relatively inexpensive, and no ionizing radiation. Also, it was reported by researchers that they help to sharp the image, improve the reliability of the scan, and reduce the need for unnecessary downstream testing. They found to be safe, convenient, completely radiation-free, and versatile. Owing to all these benefits, researchers are trying to use them for diagnostic imaging and other therapeutic areas. “Meticulous Research” in its latest publication states that, the “global market for microbubble/ultrasound contrast agent is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25.2% from 2018 to 2024 to reach $1,584.5 million by 2024.”

This growth is primarily driven by technological advancements, benefits of ultrasound technologies over other technologies, favourable reimbursement policies for contrast-enhanced procedures in the U.S., increase in demand for diagnostics & image guided procedures, and growing aging population and subsequent rise in the prevalence of chronic diseases.

Since past few years, ultrasound has been an important modality in terms of point-of-care procedures, as it is recognized as a safe, effective, and affordable tool to address many clinical conditions. The Medicare payment to hospitals outpatient departments for echo-services under the Ambulatory Payment Category (APC) systems has shown a decrease from 2016 to 2017. As per the 2017 Reimbursement Newsletter by American Medical Association (AMA), the Medicare payment for contrast-enhanced procedures decreased by -2% (2016 to 2017).

The increase in the acceptance of ultrasound contrast procedures simultaneously decreases the reimbursement for contrast enhanced procedures by Centre for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). It was found that CMS decreased reimbursement by 2% for all procedures except C8922 and C8923 which had witnessed an increase of 45% in the reimbursement in 2017. Even if the reimbursement for some procedures is decreased by 2% in 2017, they still get a good amount of reimbursement for these procedures. Thus, favourable reimbursement for contrast enhanced test will drive the microbubbles/ ultrasound contrast agents market in the forecast period.

The report provides meticulous analysis of microbubble/ultrasound contrast agents market on the basis of therapeutic area (cardiovascular diseases, renal and associated diseases, and others), application (molecular imaging, gene therapy, drug delivery, and stem cells delivery), and geography.

The key players analyzed in the microbubble/ultrasound contrast agents market are Lantheus Holdings, Inc. (U.S.), Bracco (Italy), GE Healthcare (U.S.), Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (Japan), and nanoPET Pharma GmbH (Germany).

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