Earlier this month, a panel appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services made a recommendation so detached from the good of individual patients it could only have come from government bureaucrats. They recommended eliminating screening for the most common cancer among males nationwide.
The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) is composed of 16 government-selected experts whose recommendations often influence the reimbursement policies of Medicare and private insurers. The range of members’ backgrounds is narrow considering the group is charged with advising the federal government and other healthcare providers on specific medical procedures: almost all are academics or administrators rather than practicing physicians. The panel includes experts in pediatrics and newborn care, in mental health and geriatrics, but not a single urologist who actually takes care of prostate cancer patients.
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