Evidence – Marijuana Effective for Pain Control & Can Limit Opiate Abuse

What if I tell you that there is no good evidence that marijuana does any good for treating glaucoma, anxiety, or Parkinson's disease. Despite this, it is often prescribed to treat these aliments in states that have legalized marijuana. According to a large meta analysis of 79 studies published in Journal of the American Medical Association marijuana does nothing to improve these diseases. However, this analysis did show that there is excellent evidence that marijuana is highly effective in controlling chronic pain. A JAMA review found a  "30% or greater improvement in pain with cannabinoid compared with placebo," across the [...]

Prostate Cancer drugs cost more in the USA than in other countries.

The cost of Enzalutamide (Xtandi) in the United States is being challenged by Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a public interest advocacy group.  The average US wholesale price of Xtandi in 2015 was $88 per capsule.   That can add up to $129,000 annual cost per man. There are significant issues related to high costs of treatment. The higher the cost, the more likely that insurance companies will  require pre-authorization to cover the cost of the drug.  That means a man dealing with advanced stage disease is tasked with asking his doctor to spend uncompensated time fighting the insurance company for his [...]

Of Interest In the News – Surprise Out-of Network Bills and the U.S. Preventive Task Force Becomes Controversial

In an article in Time (3/7 Sweetland Edwards) there is a discussion about the failure of the Affordable Care Act to stop patients from receiving “surprise” bills from their medical providers for services provided. These surprises result from people going to a medical facility, which is in their Network but having some service, provided by an individual provider who is outside their network. This type of problem often results from the use of out of network labs and anesthesiologists who just show up and provide a service without the informed consent of the patient and the knowledge of the patient. [...]

By | March 9th, 2016|Insurance, Politics of Cancer, Uncategorized, USPTF|0 Comments

CMS Continues To Limit Coverage For NaF-18 PET Scans For Bone Metastases

There has been a lot of buzz around the new scanning contrasts that have come into limited usage for evaluating metastasized cancer cells that are in the bones. Despite the enthusiasm from the prostate and breast cancer communities, CMS (Medicare) continues to limit its financial coverage for PET scans using the contrast NaF-18 even though it has displayed an increased ability to detect bone metastases. In the past CMS, had been willing to pay for positron emission tomography or NaF-18 PET scans as long as physicians collected and reported the data on its use and put it into a clinical [...]

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