Fighting Prostate Cancer Together



Sample Information for Letters and Calls Regarding Medicare Changes Impacting Prostate Cancer Patients

I am concerned about changes in Medicare that may negatively impact prostate cancer patients’ treatment. 

While the Medicare law creates a new prescription drug benefit and lowers cancer care co-pays, it created an unintended “loophole” that could uniquely affect prostate cancer care.  The new Medicare reimbursement rules provides higher payments to doctors for long-term prostate cancer therapies this year, but that might not always be in the best interest of patients.

 While some patients may benefit from long-term treatments, there are many others who better suited for shorter-term hormone therapy. 

 While most physicians will act in the best interests of their patients, this Medicare loophole may prompt some physicians to switch courses of treatment this year from monthly injections to three or four month injections -- possibly even to a twelve-month implant.  For example, if a doctor changes a patient’s treatment to longer-term therapies in 2004 before co-pays go down, the patient could be paying double what he might pay in 2005.

 And, if providers propose a change in therapy sometime in 2004 and this change is not medically warranted, there is cause for concern.  Why should I pay for a change in treatment that might not be in my best interests?

Currently there are no mechanisms in place to regulate or monitor potential abuse of this loophole.

I urge you to take action to ensure Medicare officials look into this matter. Prostate cancer patients need your help to guarantee that their medical needs are put before doctors’ financial incentives.


Sample Loophole


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Site last updated: 29 Jun 2004 01:28 PM