Miami, Florida (WiredPRNews.com) — For some patients who are fighting prostate cancer, whether or not they have access to the latest technology is really up to specific Medicare intermediaries. According to James G. Schwade, M.D. Executive Director of the CyberKnife Center of Miami and CyberKnife Center of Palm Beach, “At this time, in Florida our medicare intermediaries apparently are allowing the reimbursement for CyberKnife treatment of prostate cancer.”
Other prostate cancer patients diagnosed with the disease aren’t so fortunate.
Medicare’s regional contractors are apt to disagree with one another — which means Medicare pays for the treatment in some parts of the country but not others, the New York Times reported last week. It’s the latest installment in the paper’s series called “The Evidence Gap.”
While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services occasionally makes national coverage decisions, lots of decision-making authority is delegated to 15 regional contractors. That distribution of power was part of the creation of Medicare in the 1960s. Presumably, this occurred in order to allay fears that the program would put too much power in the hands of the federal government.
Medicare’s Washington coverage director told the Times, “The CyberKnife is a good example of a technology where you can review the evidence and come to different conclusions.”
The CyberKnife is outpatient image guided robotic radiosurgery that effectively treats different types of cancer, especially hard to reach tumors such as in the case of prostate cancer. Head, neck, lung, pancreatic, brain, liver and others have been treated with much success since the FDA approved the CyberKnife for whole body treatment in (2001.)
The treatments are favored by many patients as an alternative to radiation and chemo due to the short duration of treatment time and length of visits. It is non invasive and kills cancer cells which is especially positive and assists in palliative care issues with terminal patients.
For more information on the CyberKnife Centers of Miami and Palm Beach, please call 1-800-204-0455 or visit http://www.morsecyberknife.com or http://cyberknifemiami.com.