LINTHICUM, MD, May 30,2013 – The American Urological Association (AUA), a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, today announced its support for the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act of 2013. This bipartisan legislation, introduced on May 23, 2013 Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7), John Barrow (D-GA-12), Lee Terry (R-NE-2), and Donna Christensen (D-VI) calls for significant changes to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the process by which the group makes formal recommendations regarding preventive care services.
Most importantly, the bill strikes the language added by the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) that directly ties Medicare coverage of a particular preventive service to the grade given by the USPSTF.
Other key changes called for by the legislation include a mandate to ensure a “balanced representation of primary and specialty care providers” and other key stakeholders in the healthcare community are involved in development and review of recommendations.
As part of this involvement, the USPSTF would be required to:
- Publish a draft research plan (including analytic frameworks, key questions and a literature search strategy as well as methodological guidelines for the project) to guide the systematic evidence review process
- Consider findings and research by federal agencies and departments
- Make the evidence review available for public comment
- Coordinate activity with other departments
- Consult with “external subject matter experts,” including provider and patient representatives.
The bill establishes a Preventive Services Task Force Board comprised of providers, patient groups and federal agency representatives. This group would provide recommendations to the USPSTF and suggest evidence for consideration, and also provide feedback on recommendations and help disseminate them when finalized.
“Allowing independent bodies to make broad, population-based decisions regarding which tests or diagnostics are appropriate without consultation from the specialists who treat these diseases is inappropriate,” said Rep. Blackburn. “I’m pleased to have worked with the AUA to introduce this legislation to ensure that preventive care recommendations are not made in a vacuum. Patients and their physicians have the right to choose which tests are best for them.”
“Recommendations about preventive care services should take into account feedback from the specialists who treat these conditions and decisions should take place in the context of a doctor-patient relationship,” said AUA President Dr. Pramod Sogani. “The AUA strongly supports the inclusion of specialists on the USPSTF and other bodies that develop recommendations that impact patient care.
“We are pleased that Reps. Blackburn and Barrow are continuing their support of this critical legislation.”
In 2012, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates passed a resolution put forth by the urology community that expressed concern over the USPSTF’s recent recommendations on prostate and breast cancer screening and encouraged the USPSTF “to implement procedures that allow for meaningful input on recommendation development from specialists and stakeholders in the topic area under study.”
For more information about the AUA’s position on the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act of 2013, please contact the AUA Communications office at 410-689-3932 or via e-mail to communications@AUAnet.org.
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 18,000 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.
Wendy Waldsachs Isett, AUA