CMS Sticks With Medicare Coverage Of PSA Test
The federal government is not changing coverage plans "at this time." Meanwhile, a number of urologists and other medical specialists raise concerns that new recommendations against prostate cancer screening will hurt men's health.
CQ HealthBeat: Medicare 'At This Time' Will Continue to Cover Prostate Cancer Screening
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force may have issued a controversial final recommendation against routine prostate cancer screening for men, but the move appears unlikely to affect Medicare coverage —— at least in the short term. In letters to members of Congress in February, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that "while the department has discretion to modify or eliminate coverage for the PSA test based on the Task Force's recommendation, I do not intend to eliminate coverage of this screening test under Medicare at this time." A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman said Tuesday that the secretary’s statement stands (Norman, 5/22).
Health News Florida: Florida Rejects Advice To Scrap Routine PSA Tests
Leading urologists in Florida say they're disappointed with a government panel's advice against routine prostate-cancer screening. "That's the wrong message,” objects Dr. Johannes Vieweg, chair of the urology department at University of Florida. The president of an association for Florida urologists said he felt the same way. … Florida's disapproval of the Task Force guidelines is actually official; it came out in November in a report by the Florida Prostate Cancer Advisory Council, which Vieweg chaired. The council began work when the federal task force's interim guidelines were published, showing where things were headed (Gentry, 5/23).
STL Beacon: Cancer Expert Decries Recommendation To End PSA Screening For Healthy Men Over 50
Dr. Gerald Andriole, chief of urologic surgery at the Siteman Cancer Center and the Washington University Medical School, cautions that a blanket end to the screening would send men back to the time when one-third of prostate cancers had advanced and were incurable by the time they were diagnosed. … Andriole is the principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute's prostate, lung, colorectal and ovarian (PLCO) screening trial. He favors leaving the decision on PSA screening to patients and their doctors (Joiner, 5/22).