Advocating for HIFU Reimbursement

Men who may have benefited from HIFU for Prostate Cancer are being asked to help more men receive this life-saving procedure. HIFU Prostate Services and California HIFU is asking past-patients to help newly diagnosed men have a greater opportunity to receive HIFU for prostate cancer by advocating for higher Medicare reimbursement for HIFU. The steps have been outlined below to help with this process, along with tips for being as effective as possible.

Finding Your Representatives

Write a Letter to Your Representatives in Congress

Now that you have found your representatives in Congress and the Senate, one of the easiest ways to help is to reach out to your representatives in Congress on the issue of reduced coverage for HIFU. We have provided a template letter and a History of Medicare Reimbursement for HIFU document below to assist you in contacting your representatives.

Please click below to download each one. Edit the letter as you see fit before sending it on. Every letter helps!

  • Template Letter (Word Document)
  • History of Medicare Reimbursement for HIFU (PDF)

Tips on Writing Letters

  • When you contact in writing, please use USPS Signature Confirmation™ postage so they understand the importance of your letter – it will go to the top of their pile.
  • Signature Confirmation provides the date and time of delivery or attempted delivery and the name of the person who signed for the item. You can request a printed copy of the signature. Please note that you will likely receive a form letter back; please retain for your records.
  • Email them using the address listed  on their website; please note that may go unanswered. You want to give them a chance to address the issue by email.

Call Your Representatives!

In addition to writing your representatives, you will get more of a response if you call them. Unlike when you send a letter, you are harder to ignore when you get an actual person on the phone. Make sure you clearly state why you are calling and what you want them to do about the issue.

SAMPLE SCRIPT:

Hi I am calling [INSERT NAME OF REPRESENTATIVE OR SENATOR] to express my concern about Medicare reimbursement for a non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer called HIFU. This procedure is less expensive and leads to fewer side effects than traditional treatment for prostate cancer, but the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services has issued a reimbursement code so low that treatment facilities in [INSERT STATE] cannot afford to offer the procedure without losing money. This means that the treatment isn’t available and lack of access to care is a serious concern for me. 

I strongly would like to urge [INSERT NAME OF REPRESENTATIVE OR SENATOR] to work to increase the reimbursement for medicare for HIFU. I would be happy to meet in person to share more of my personal prostate cancer story. Thank you.

Tips for Calling

  • You must call back to follow-up on the issue.
  • They will talk to you and offer to help, but if you don’t call back at least weekly your issue will get lost in the mix of other issues.
  • A weekly call makes your issue a priority because they want you to stop calling.

Meet in Person

If you are persistent and are able to meet with someone in person – that is the best outcome! Use this time to:

  • Share your personal story. Why is this issue so important to you!
  • Share 3-5 key points about the issue
  • Keep the conversation specific to their state or district
  • Close the meeting with a specific ask – what do you want them to do?

Persistence is key!

These offices get hundreds to thousands of request a week. In order to stay at the top of the list you must be persistent.

As a company, have our own efforts going so the amount of help we can provide will be limited. That said, please keep us up to date on your efforts and let us know if there is any way we can help; we will certainly do our best to assist you.

Originally Published On — HIFU Prostate Services.