One lesson that organizations representing urology have learned over the years is that to successfully advocate on behalf of urologists in Washington, it takes a concerted, year-long effort that is sharply focused and strategically driven.
Yes, the Annual Urology Advocacy Summit in Washington, which attracted more than 250 attendees and resulted in more than 180 urologists, researchers, and patient advocates participating in nearly 200 meetings with lawmakers and staffs, was an important cornerstone event representing the entire urology community.
Yes, attendees were updated on key practice developments such as prostate cancer disparities, active surveillance, and the cost-effectiveness of prostate cancer treatment. But the importance of working together for advocacy was emphasized in a March 12 session moderated by David F. Penson, MD, MPH, AUA chair of health care policy.
“Prostate cancer advocacy is multi-faceted and it’s important for our advocates to understand that,” Dr. Penson said. “While USPSTF reform is paramount for us, the conversation isn’t just about screening. Understanding the role of active surveillance, the shift toward value-based medicine, and how we can work effectively in tandem with our patients is critical.”
Dr. Penson was referring, of course, to efforts by the major urology organizations to convince Congress to approve legislation designed to reform the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which has issued recommendations regarding prostate cancer screening that they believe are misguided and could be harmful to patients.
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