FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2016
Wendy Isett, AUA
AMERICAN UROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION TESTIFIES TO CONGRESS ON U.S. PREVENTIVE SERVICES TASK FORCE REFORM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2016, 10:30 a.m.
Baltimore, MD, November 30, 2016—Dr. John H. Lynch, prominent urologist and prostate cancer survivor, testified before Congress today on behalf of the American Urological Association (AUA) during a special hearing titled, “Examining the United States Preventive Services Task Force.” The hearing was called by the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health and specifically referenced the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act (H.R. 1151), introduced by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) and Bobby Rush (D-IL-01).
Dr. Lynch’s testimony focused on the importance of increased transparency and accountability as outlined in H.R. 1151, including four key reforms: inclusion of specialists on the USPSTF, an accountable and transparent process for recommendation development, the establishment of an advisory board to ensure regular input from interested stakeholders, and a process to request review of previous recommendations in the presence of additional peer-reviewed scientific evidence.
“Since the release of the 2012 recommendation, providers faced conflicting recommendations, and patients did not know where to turn to determine what was best for their individual needs,” Dr. Lynch testified. “Due to a lack of inclusion of the specialists who treat the diseases for which the USPSTF makes recommendations, the long-term impacts of its guidance aren’t always clear. The stakes are high.”
The AUA, together with other key members of the prostate cancer community, is committed to preserving patients’ access to appropriate prostate cancer testing. The USPSTF’s current recommendations on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer screening were issued in 2012 and run contrary to the positions of many leading medical societies that advocate for discussion about the benefits and risks of PSA screening in targeted populations, including the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Cancer Society, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the AUA.
“By including, in some manner, those that treat the condition for which recommendations are being made, the USPSTF will ensure appropriate interpretation of currently available literature, and can benefit from added expert input into diagnosis and treatment of a disease or condition, as well as ensure the appropriateness and relevance of recommendations in the clinical setting,” he said.
Dr. John H. Lynch is a past member of the AUA Board of Directors and currently serves as chair of the Patient Education Council of the Urology Care Foundation, the official foundation of the AUA. He is a practicing urologist and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC.
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About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 21,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.