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    AUA lobbies USPSTF on draft research plan

    Urology ‘noticeably absent’ from PSA panel, Dr. Wolf says

    Bob GattyBob GattyWashingtonThe U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which in 2012 recommended against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer, is developing a new research plan for updating recommendations that urology practices will be expected to follow once it is finalized.  

    Related: Why urology residents should care about health policy

    The USPSTF posted information about the project in late October 2015 and invited public comments through Nov. 25, a time frame that coincided with the publication of data in the Journal of Urology (2015; 194:1587-93) and JAMA (2015; 314:2054-61; and 2015; 314:2077-9) pointing to the recommendation’s detrimental effects on diagnosis and treatment. PSA screening has also been in the headlines recently due to a controversial quality measure proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that would potentially penalize providers for ordering PSA tests. (For more on this measure, see urologytimes.com/PSA-measure.)

    AUA, others submit comments

    Among comments submitted to USPSTF regarding its new research plan were those from the AUA, which urged close consultation with urology and offered numerous specific recommendations and alterations, and the nonprofit Prostate Cancer International (PCI), which cited “major omissions” in the proposed plan.

    “While the USPSTF panel is composed of independent national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, urology representation is noticeably absent,” wrote J. Stuart Wolf, Jr., MD, chair of the AUA’s Science & Quality Council, in the AUA’s comments.

    Dr. Wolf said the AUA and its members “strongly believe that blanket statements regarding PSA testing directed at the entire male population disregard the published benefits associated with such testing in men who may be at higher risk than the average male; as such, we applaud USPSTF in its efforts to incorporate risk stratification into its recommendations regarding PSA testing.”

    Next: Key points offered by the AUA for development of the new policy

    Bob Gatty
    Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.

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