CMS appears to walk away from anti-PSA screening initiative

On November 15 last year we advised our readers that CMS had initiated an ill-advised process to “discourage the use of PSA-based screening” for prostate cancer.

Then on November 19, we advised you that our parent not-for-profit organization — Prostate Cancer International — (with the support of The Prostate Net) had submitted a detailed set of comments to the CMS contractor arguing strongly against the implementation of the proposed CMS plan, which would have actively punished clinicians for using the PSA test to assess patients for risk of prostate cancer. Of course we were certainly not the only organization to take such a stance.

We are now pleased to be able to inform you that CMS appears to have walked way from this initiative.

In an e-mail just distributed to its members by the American Urological Association (AUA), we have heard that, earlier this week, in the CMS response to public comments, the agency specifically stated that:

CMS will continue to work with the American Urological Association as well as engage additional members of the community such as providers and patients.

Earlier this month, the AUA was advised that the MAP Clinician Workgroup will recommend that CMS not consider further recommendation of the measure. However, we shall need to remain vigilant on the whole issue of appropriate testing for risk of prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer International and The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink still believe that the PSA test is far from being an appropriate tool when it comes to the mass screening of all men of certain ages for risk of prostate cancer on a regular basis (e.g., annually or biannually). However, much better tests are being brought to market, and for those men known to be at higher than average risk for clinically significant prostate cancer, the PSA tests offers a simple way to keep a close eye on the level of their risk until the value of newer tests can be established.

One Response

  1. Bravo!

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