LANSING — A state panel has begun the move to rewrite rules that now limit the number of positron-emission tomography, or PET, scanners in Michigan.
The change would enable health-care providers in West Michigan to seek a license from the state to obtain a PET scanner and begin offering the diagnostic service locally.
State Certificate of Need standards now limit the number of PET scanners in Michigan to three, all of which are in southeast Michigan. That means physicians in West Michigan who want a PET scan done on a patient have to send them to the other side of the state.
The Certificate of Need Commission, the state panel that establishes criteria used to judge health-care providers’ requests to do major capital improvements, voted July 18 to form an ad-hoc committee to revise the rules for mobile and fixed PET units.
The committee will develop an updated standard for new applications that the Michigan Department of Community Health receives in the future for PET scanners, said Lody Zwarensteyn, president of the Alliance for Health in Grand Rapids and an alternate member of the ad-hoc committee.
Zwarensteyn hopes the committee can report back to the CON Commission as early as its September meeting.
“There’s a feeling that this ought to be done with dispatch,” he said.
A PET scanner is the latest high-tech diagnostic tool that provides doctors a computer-generated image of the biological activities within the human body. Physicians use PET scanners in planning treatments for cancer, and for cardiac and neurological patients.