The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) currently exercises unaccountable influence to restrict access to effective preventive care without consulting patients or specialists in the management of related conditions. The AUA is actively working with lawmakers to move forward to reform this body, creating transparency and accountability while also adding input and feedback from patients and specialists involved in treating the conditions for which recommendations are being developed. In 2012 and 2013, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) introduced the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act, which is strongly supported by the AUA and other urologic groups.
What You Should Know
USPSTF recommendations on myriad clinical preventive health services create confusion among patients and the primary care community. For example, in May 2012 the USPSTF recommended against the prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) based screening for prostate cancer for all men, regardless of risk. This decision counters the informed opinion of expert physicians and years of public awareness campaigns undertaken by patient groups to encourage detection of the disease at its most manageable state. The insulated USPSTF process disallows meaningful contributions from medical specialists and the public who, in this case, would have provided evidence on the benefit of PSA-based screening in vulnerable populations including African Americans and men with a family history of the disease.
Section 2713 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act grants USPSTF recommendations the force of law, making them de facto mandates on which services private plans and public programs, such as Medicare, must reimburse. Having been empowered in this way, it is essential that this advisory panel be subject to greater transparency and accountability.
What the AUA is Doing
The AUA is committed to preserving patients' access to appropriate prostate cancer testing and is working at both the federal and local levels to educate lawmakers on this important issue. Nationally, the AUA is working with lawmakers to advance the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act and is monitoring legislative and regulatory activity at the state level.
- Prostate Cancer Community Responds to New Recommendation for Prostate Cancer Testing
April 17, 2017
- AUA Responds to USPSTF Draft Recommendations on Screening for Prostate Cancer
April 11, 2017
- Stakeholders Applaud USPSTF for Including Urologist in Review Process for Updated Prostate Cancer Recommendations
February 14, 2017
- AUA Announces Support for USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act of 2017
January 13, 2017
- AUA Testifies on USPSTF Reform to Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee [pdf]
November 30, 2016
- AUA Comments to USPSTF Draft Research Plan for Prostate Cancer Screening [pdf]
November 24, 2015
- AUA, Urology Policy Forum Support National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month Senate Resolution [pdf]
July 29, 2015
- Nation's Urologists Rally Behind Blackburn-Rush USPSTF Reform Bill
(AUA, LUGPA, AACU joint press release) [pdf]
March 10, 2015
- AUA Announces Support for USPSTF Accountability Act of 2015
AUA Press Release | March 5, 2015
- AUA Letter in Support of the National Prostate Cancer Council Act [pdf]
January 20, 2015
- AUA letter to Senators Boxer and Sessions Supporting S. 2813, the National Prostate Cancer Council Act [pdf]
December 1, 2014
- AUA Support Letter to U.S. Senate Regarding Prostate Cancer Awareness Resolution Introduced by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) [pdf]
September 18, 2014
- AUA Comments to MedPAC on USPSTF [pdf]
April 18, 2014
- AUA Announces Support for USPSTF Accountability Act of 2013
May 30, 2013
What You Can Do
Visit the AUA Advocacy Center for updates on alerts and calls to action on this issue.
- AUA Guideline on the Early Detection of Prostate Cancer
- Frequently Asked Questions about the 2013 AUA Guideline on Early Detection of Prostate Cancer
- USPSTF Transparency & Accountability Act of 2013