Hypothetical cost savings associated with “observation” for low-risk prostate cancer

A newly published article in JAMA Oncology has reported hypothetical costs savings to Medicare of $320 million over a 3-year time frame if men of > 70 years with low-risk prostate cancer are simply “observed” as opposed being given immediate treated. … READ MORE …

Population-based rates of treatment for prostate cancer: 2007-2012

The population-based rate of Medicare patients getting treatment for prostate cancer dropped by 42 percent from 2007 to 2012 … but this drop did not occur in patients who had a high risk of dying from a cause other than prostate cancer within 10 years, who are arguably among those who least need immediate treatment for prostate cancer (and especially for low-risk forms of prostate cancer). … READ MORE …

A highly qualified “thank you” to Drs. Welch and Albertsen — maybe?

The prostate cancer patient community should be aware of an “op-ed” in today’s New York Times by Drs. Gilbert Welch and Peter Albertsen arguing that Medicare should continue to let individual physicians make their own decisions about the use of the PSA test for risk of prostate cancer. … READ MORE …

CMS issues inappropriate proposal to “discourage the use of PSA-based screening”

Apparently our friends at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have misunderstood the details of the D recommendation about PSA screening for prostate cancer issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2012, … READ MORE …

Yes, you can now check your prostate cancer surgeon’s complication rates, but …

… You are going to need to be cautious in using this new tool, as explained below. … READ MORE …

Fallout from elimination of PSA data from the SEER database

On April 29 this year, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced a decision to eliminate all PSA data from their current data files because of apparent inaccuracies in the ways that such data had been accumulated over time and administered. The full ramifications of this are — as yet — unclear. … READ MORE …

Congress may block coverage for VEDs for Medicare patients

It appears as though, here in the USA, the House of Representatives has decided to block coverage of vacuum erectile devices (VEDs, sometimes known as “penis pumps”) for Medicare patients. … READ MORE …