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The real Least Costly Alternative for treating prostate cancer is castration, so maybe your Administrator will decide ... to pay only for that. We must stop this attempt to limit treatment now.
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November 24. Welcome to PSA Rising Magazine. Prostate cancer survivors from Arizona, Nevada and Northern and Southern California met in Phoenix on Saturday and joined forces in an effort to defeat the move toward Least Costly Alternative (LCA) in the western states. They formed a working committee in addition to the new organization PCAN, Prostate Cancer Action Network.
        Harry Pinchot, an active patient in Northern California, e-mailed the 1,300 members of Prostate Pointers Mailing List late Monday night with a report of some 2,500 letters sent out to members of the Prostate Forum, the PCg, US-TOO! and The Wellness Community in California.
        Ralph Valle, head of PCAN and a list owner of PPML and April Becker of US-TOO! Active Partners have spoken to "several support groups," Pinchot said.
        "No longer do I feel alone crying in the wilderness," Pinchot said. "We are on the move and gathering momentum. If we all work together we can and will defeat this dangerous proposal. I do not agree with those who say that we can not win. I prefer to look to the men and their families in Iowa who DID act and DID defeat LCA in their state. If they can do it we can do it."
        A new model letter (below) is ready for you to send to medicare officials and elected representatives. In California, send first and foremost to Dr. Lurvey. His e-mail, if you choose, is:
arthur.lurvey@transamerica.com
Addresses for your elected representatives are on Contacts page.

 

Dr. Arthur Lurvey
Medical Director
Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance
1150 South Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-2211

Dear Dr. Lurvey:

I am writing in strong opposition to the proposed Least Costly Alternative (LCA) Medicare policy. Prostate cancer treatments should be determined by a patient and his doctor - not by insurance companies or the government.

This policy would limit prostate cancer treatment options by dictating that patients on hormone therapy only be reimbursed for the cheapest available treatment. Doctors and patients would be forced to base medical decisions on cost alone. If a prostate cancer patient wishes to remain on his current therapy and it is not deemed the "least costly alternative," he must pay the difference out of his own pocket. On top of everything prostate cancer patients face in battling this terrible disease, they will now shoulder the added burden of a policy which strips them of the ability to control their own health care.

While I am most concerned that this policy is unfairly targeting prostate cancer patients, what treatments or diseases will be next? Will all Medicare be based on what is cheapest? Will mandated surgical castration be next simply because it is the "least costly" treatment for advanced prostate cancer? I am afraid that this would be yet another step toward a two-tiered medical system, where only those with the greatest financial resources will be able to choose their health care treatments.

Please protect the rights of Medicare patients and preserve prostate cancer patients' ability to choose their best course of treatment! Thank you for considering my input and I hope you will put what is best for prostate cancer patients before what is cheapest.
_____________ your signature _________________________

PSA Rising Magazine
prostate cancer activist news
http://www.psa-rising.com ©1998
November 27, 1998
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