Dear Dr. LeBlanc,
Thank you for your reply earlier this fall and for providing the linked documents. On page 7 of the NYS Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, prostate cancer is listed as the #1 diagnosed solid tumor malignancy in New York State men and the #2 cause of death. The lack of a universally accepted screening tool should not be the basis to exclude a malignancy of that potential source of morbidity and mortality from a public awareness campaign. As you well know, the USPSTF based their 2012 recommendations regarding PSA-based prostate cancer screening on two largely flawed studies (PLCO and ERSPC) which were underpowered and poorly controlled. Death from prostate cancer dropped 50% since the advent of PSA testing and still technology and knowledge advance. PSA testing has become more refined and and the focus is to identify the risk of clinically significant cancers (i.e. Gleason grade group 2 or higher) not just simply the task of finding ‘any’ prostate cancer. As such, urologists work to stratify patients for their risk of significant prostate cancer using familial and genetic tools (e.g. BRCA2, p10 deletions), PSA isoform panels such as the 4K score and Prostate Health Inventory (PHI), and, when indicated, multiparametric MRI of the prostate, the first imaging approach that reliably identifies clinically signficant foci of prostate cancer that may merit targeted biopsy. No assessment of prostate cancer risk, however, can be performed unless patients and stake holders have access to adequate and available information, including PSA testing, and as such would benefit from the kind of coordinated, multisystem effort such as the Department of Health can undertake. The lack of any such effort, especially for high risk portions of the state, may be doing a disservice to those men who are currently unaware of their potential for having life threatening prostate cancer. We ask that the Department of Health reconsider their including prostate cancer and current practice guidelines regarding its risk assessment in the NYS Prevention Agenda.
John Phillips, MD, FACS
Professor, Department of Urology, New York Medical College Program Director, Westchester Medical Center President, New York State Urological Society
Attention New York Urologists –
A bill to mandate that insurance policies that cover prostate cancer screening must do so without cost-sharing is being considered by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The sponsor’s justification states, “…in 2015 the state enacted provisions to ensure women have access to breast cancer screenings at no cost to them. These provisions are especially important in today’s health insurance market-place where more and more individuals are covered by high deductible policies. This legislation, similar to the breast cancer screening provisions enacted in 2015, will ensure men have access to prostate screenings at no cost to them.”
Make Your Voice Heard!
Send a message to the Governor using this online form: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
LINK TO LEGISLATION: Legislation: SB6882
Dear NYSUS member
The 2nd leading cause of cancer death in American men is prostate cancer. Many New Yorkers, especially African American men, are at an increased risk of significant prostate cancer. In some New York counties, African-American men have double the risk of death from prostate cancer.
It is urgent that as caregivers, we all contact our state legislators to include prostate cancer in the 2019-2024 Prevention Agenda for the New York State Department of Health (DOH). Use the following link to find your legislator and then click on the helpful bar to reach their office:
Find your Assemblyperson – Click Here
You can also email your comments for updating the Prevention Agenda directly to the Ad Hoc Committee leading the Prevention Agenda at: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Phillips, M.D.
The annual meeting of the Medical Society of the State of New York in March and the May meeting of the AUA are fast approaching. Please take 20 seconds to fill out the following survey indicating whether you will be attending either or both events and whether there is an interest in a NYSUS social event at these meetings.
John Phillips, MD, FACS
As you may have heard, CMS is considering a change in coding of robotic prostatectomy (CPT 55866) to an outpatient procedure.
We strongly oppose the change as it would significantly impact patient safety and resources to maintain Quality and Improvement (QI) activities, and further require burdensome administrative efforts away from patient care. The CMS provides a ‘comment period’ during which we ask members to consider providing a response. Any data that you may have demonstrating, for example, mean and or median hospital stays for robotic prostatectomy, would be particularly helpful and can be uploaded as a chart, figure, or table.
Here’s how to comment:
1. Please go to and/or click on the following link www.regulations.gov/searchResults?rpp=25&po=0&s=cms-1678-p&fp=true&ns=true
2. Find the Comment Now button on the top right.
3. Enter your response in the provided box that opens.
4. Click on the identifier response boxes as directed.
Thank you for your efforts!
John Phillips, MD
The American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU), AACU State Society Network and undersigned urologic professional societies respectfully submit these comments on the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) Recommendation Statement on Screening for Prostate Cancer. Click to continue reading.
UPDATE: Missed the Webinar? Click here to read MLMIC’s FAQ’s on the Berkshire Hathaway transaction.
Update on the MLMIC acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway
* April 27th at 7 PM*
In July of 2016, MLMIC announced its intention to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway. Learn how the transaction may benefit MLMIC policyholders. A special webinar has been arranged only for active NYSUS members to brief participants on the milestones that are expected to occur between now and the expected close of the transaction.
A letter from MSSNY to all MSSNY Members:
Dear MSSNY Member:
As you know, in July of 2016, your endorsed carrier MLMIC announced its intention to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway. We’re pleased to advise you that the transaction is on track and progressing forward in accordance with the measures and actions required under New York Insurance Law Section 7307 (NYIL §7307), designed to protect “the interests of the policyholders and the public.” We are, however, disappointed that the process is taking slightly longer than anticipated. As you know, we anticipated a culmination of the process in the third quarter of 2017. We are now hopeful that the process will be completed by year end 2017. As such, policyholders can expect several major milestones to occur between now and the expected close of the transaction. The estimated timeline for these milestones is currently as follows: Continue reading
What UROPAC Is
UROPAC is the political action committee for members of the American Association of Clinical Urologists and the American Urological Association. It works on behalf of the entire urologic community, helping to expand its influence in the increasingly complex political world. Membership in UROPAC is a convenient, time efficient means for individuals to become involved in politics by participating in congressional elections. And you, as just one individual, are able to speak with a powerful, amplified voice.