This Week in Congress reviews the current week’s activities on Capitol Hill here. The House and Senate are leaving town for Thanksgiving and will return on November 30. At that point, there will be eleven calendar days for Congress to extend or finalize the continuing resolution that currently is funding the federal government.
Federal News Radio explains with the help of Walt Francis why Open Season doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Open Season continues until Monday December 14. Here is a link to the online chat that Federal News Radio held with Mr. Francis earlier this week.
Drug Channels reviews the steps that prescription benefit manager is taking to weed out of their retail networks pharmacies that have unholy links with drug manufacturers or act as mail order pharmacies, similar to Philidor.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is considering imposing a penalty on doctors who order PSA tests which screen men for prostate cancer. “Since 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against routine screening for prostate cancer for men of any age on the grounds that the benefits don’t outweigh the harms.” This is another government initiative for value based medicine. According to the article many doctors aren’t amused by the initiative.
“PSA screening is a very controversial topic. The debate is ongoing and people feel very strongly about it, one way or another,” said David Penson, chair of public policy and practice support for the American Urological Association, which urged CMS to reject the proposal. “To make it a quality measure would say, ‘You’re a poor quality doctor if your patients get this test.’ ”