Navigation Links
ASTRO Chairman Michael Steinberg, M.D., FASTRO, reaffirms Society's commitment to ending self-referral
Date:6/27/2013

Fairfax, Va., June 27, 2013 A new study, "Use of Advanced Treatment Technologies Among Men at Low Risk of Dying from Prostate Cancer," published Tuesday, June 25, 2013, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), by Bruce L. Jacobs, MD, MPH, et. al., analyzes treatment data for 55,947 prostate cancer patients (aged 66 years or older) in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database from 2004 to 2009. The study found that the use of advanced treatment technologies increased from 32 percent to 44 percent among men with low-risk prostate cancer, from 36 percent to 57 percent among men with high risk of non-cancer mortality, and from 13 percent to 24 percent among men unlikely to die from prostate cancer. In discussion, Dr. Jacobs, et. al., raise several concerns about increased treatment: "aggressive direct-to-consumer marketing and incentives associated with fee-for-service payment may promote the use of advanced treatment technologies;" "more diligence is needed to reduce the potentially unnecessary treatment of men with a low risk of dying from prostate cancer;" and "more immediately, policy change may help curtail the excessive use of advanced treatment technologies among patients least likely to benefit."

Michael L. Steinberg, MD, FASTRO, chairman of the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO) Board of Directors, states that Dr. Jacobs, et.al.'s study reaffirms the Society's commitment to closing the self-referral loophole for radiation therapy within the Ethics in Patient Referrals Act, also known as the self-referral law.

ASTRO supports the use of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) as an appropriate, effective treatment for prostate cancer patients, however, IMRT should be carefully considered along with other effective treatments and management options, including active surveillance, by patients and their doctors. Treatment decisions should not be based on the physician's potential for profit, yet we believe profit-motivated IMRT overuse is rampant due to the proliferation of urology ownership of radiation therapy centers. The abuse of this expensive technology is allowed by a loophole in the federal physician self-referral law. We agree with Dr. Jacobs et. al.'s concerns that financial incentives may be negatively impacting treatment decisions, which we believe are compounded by ownership arrangements protected under the self-referral loophole.

ASTRO expects several independent studies will be published soon demonstrating that self-referral abuse in prostate cancer treatment, particularly among older men, is leading to unnecessary treatment, higher spending and inappropriate patient care. These new reports will add to the already significant body of evidence condemning self-referral abuse. In September 2012, a New England Journal of Medicine article authored by leading health policy experts called for closing the self-referral loophole for radiation therapy and other so-called "ancillary services." In the same month, the GAO issued a scathing report on self-referral in advanced diagnostic imaging titled "Higher Use of Advance Imaging Services by Providers Who Self-Refer Costing Medicare Millions" (GAO-12-966). On November 6, 2012, Bloomberg News published an investigative report indicting self-referral by demonstrating the real-world impact on patients' lives, which received in-depth follow-up by the local newspaper, the Monterey County Herald.

Cumulatively, all of these studies demonstrate that self-referral abuse drives overutilization of expensive technologies. Recently, several bipartisan groups, including the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Simpson-Bowles Moment of Truth project, as well as President Obama in his FY 2014 budget proposal, generally have endorsed ASTRO's recommended policy change to close the self-referral loophole. ASTRO agrees and urges Congress to act this year.

"All evidence confirms that the self-referral loophole must be closed to protect every patient and to preserve the Medicare program," said Dr. Steinberg. "This loophole endangers patients and erodes their trust in us as physicians. In addition, self-referral abuse wastes our nation's already stretched financial resources."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michelle Kirkwood
press@astro.org
703-286-1600
American Society for Radiation Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Antibody therapy prevents gastrointestinal damage following radiation exposure in mice
2. Diagnostic Scans Tied to Radiation Risk for Gastro Patients
3. Gastro Woes Often Strike Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
4. Not taking gastroprotective drugs prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicines
5. Football-related catastrophic brain injuries on the rise
6. Catastrophic Head Injuries to High School Football Players Rising
7. Gastroenterology special issue focuses on new directions of viral hepatitis care and research
8. Gastroenterology Societies issue sedation curriculum for gastrointestinal endoscopy
9. ASTRO wins 2012 Communicator Award
10. ASTRO chairman to testify at CARE Act hearing
11. IU gastroenterologist develops practice guidelines for most prevalent liver disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the ... AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in ... topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, ... and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained ... Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. ... accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, ... and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent ... “the most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Dublin ... the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" ... This report focuses on the global market ... its applications in various applications. The report deals with ... main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... BEIJING , June 24, 2016 Dehaier ... or the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical ... China , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with ... as "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to ... Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 According to a ... (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, ... Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & ... studies the market for the forecast period of 2016 ... 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: