IDEAS Finds Small Drop in Hospitalizations

Numerous studies have now found that amyloid PET scans can alter a person’s diagnosis and disease management—but do they reduce overall medical costs? According to data from the final phase of the IDEAS study, presented at the virtual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this past week, the answer is no. Gil Rabinovici at the University of California, San Francisco, reported that patients who received a scan had about 5 percent fewer hospitalizations in the next year than did unscanned, matched Medicare participants. This small benefit missed the prespecified outcome of 10 percent, and leaves unclear whether insurers will consider the benefits of scanning to be worth the cost. Meanwhile, the researchers continue to dig through the dataset for additional insights, and IDEAS participants have joined additional studies.

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