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April 11, 2019

Finding My Place as a Proton Therapy Advocate

For the two and a half years since my treatment for prostate cancer in 2016 I have taken it upon myself to be a proton therapy advocate, not from a clinical or medical viewpoint, but rather, through direct contact with the public, informing them of the possibilities of proton therapy. This has taken the form of writing two books and starting three websites. For the most part, I work in isolation, using my own resources, not part of a larger organization. I have given away more books than I have sold.
(Go to full article.)

April 11, 2019

Summary of the 2019 NAPT Conference

The 2019 conference of the National Association for Proton Therapy was held March 24-27 at the historic and recently renovated Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. Whoever organized this conference on proton therapy had people like me in mind. There was very little free time, with events packed in tightly, including during meal time. I came for information, so the more the merrier.
(Go to full article.)

April 2, 2019

More about the Oklahoma / Aetna Judgment

At the 2019 national conference of the National Association of Proton Therapy (NAPT) in Coral Gables, Florida, in March, one of the sessions was about the large settlement ($25.5 million) against Aetna in a case from Oklahoma, to which I have given quite a bit of space in my blogs. Here is the latest update and legal suggestions.

Two of the attorneys and Dr. Andrew L. Chang were on the panel. The actual case is: Ron Cunningham vs. Aetna Life Insurance Company -- CJ-2015 Oklahoma County State of Oklahoma. The plaintiff charged Aetna with breach of contract for failing to consider the claim for proton therapy coverage in good faith and with fair dealing. It took 3 ½ years to get to trial, which lasted 14 days.
(Go to fUll article.)

 

February 13, 2019

Proton Critics Cling to Flawed Study

In past blogs I have pointed out the insufficient nature of the material used by critics of proton therapy, namely:

1. Outdated statistics from the early years of proton therapy, prior to pencil beam scanning.
2. Claims that more evidence is needed to prove the efficacy of proton therapy.
3. Flawed studies designed to minimize the performance of proton therapy.
4. Downright falsehoods and misinformation.

In this article, I analyze an oft-quoted study that is the foundation of much criticism, point out its flaws, and consider its unfortunate ramifications.
(Go to full article.)

February 13, 2019

Should you be a litigant?

Since the last blog posting, I have developed more interest in the legal aspects of challenging insurance companies that fail to approve proton therapy. I think that is a good way to force then to be more cooperative in their consideration rather than just rejecting such claims out of hand.

There are a number of avenues for pursuing legal work. However, with the attorneys to whom I have talked, one of the biggest problems is actually finding the people who have been unfairly rejected for proton therapy. Perhaps you are such a person. Perhaps you have a case.
(Go to full article)

November 20, 2018

Resources For Legal Challenges
To Insurance Company Denials

In the wake of a jury verdict awarding $25,500,000 to a defendant who believed his wife’s death was caused by wrongly delaying coverage for proton therapy, I was not surprised to receive an email from an attorney looking into more litigation and asking for my opinion and help. I gladly provided some resources and my thoughts on the subject. I am now making information available here for whomever may find a reason to use it.
(Go to full article)

November 12, 2018

A Drop In The Bucket:
Proton Therapy at the ASTRO convention

It was an eye-opener for me to visit the vendor area of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Antonio in October, 2018. I have been very critical of this organization due to their resistance to proton therapy. Most of the ten thousand members make their living with photons (x-rays).
(Go to full article)

June 28, 2018

An Open Letter to Jay Hancock

Jay, I was treated with proton therapy in 2016 for prostate cancer at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center in Knoxville, TN. Since then, I have been an avid proponent of proton therapy, having written three books and started three websites. As with other proton therapy blogs, I have responded at length to your unwarranted negativity about this subject. In this personal message to you, I want to be more specific.
(Go to full article)

June 28, 2018

Decide for Yourself, Ignore the Critics

If you or a loved one is facing a cancer diagnosis, you need to know about proton therapy, a revolutionary treatment that gets remarkable results. Getting the straight story, however, isn’t always easy. In this post I counter some of the outrageous and unfounded criticism of proton therapy.
(Go to full article)

May 1, 2018

Paying for Proton Therapy

Here is a typical email that I received not long ago.

Our son was diagnosed with Stage III Esophageal Cancer. He was in- network for Mayo- AZ (Mayo Clinic in Arizona).  His radiation oncologist recommended 28 Proton treatments. Aetna denied coverage,  IMRT (x-rays) was covered. We decided to self pay and are making monthly payments.  Our son has appealed - hoping to recover our payments.
(Go to full article)

December 7, 2017

Proton Therapy: Go Public or Else

I find that the public knows little about proton therapy, and the medical community is hesitant to embrace it. As a result, proton therapy has not blossomed the way one would expect, given its extraordinary potential. Here i will discuss that the solution is to go public, to reach patients directly, not wait for referrals. The “or else” includes underperforming, operating in the red, or even bankruptcy.

Most centers for which I have figures fail to meet their projections. One striking example is the recently bankrupt Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego, California.
(Go to full article.)

October 7, 2017

Recalcitrant Insurnce Companies
Break the Law and Kill People

It is a full-time job to try to keep up with the battle with insurance companies and their refusal to cover proton therapy. While there are some rays of hope, the overall situatio continues to be glum.

One frontier for gaining insurance coverage for proton therapy is state law. A number of states have passed laws against holding proton therapy to a higher standard than other modalities. But even in those states, insurance companies continue to ignore (which is to say, break) the law. This article is an update on several such cases, plus other on going insurance issues.
(Go to full article.)

October 9, 2017

Insurers: Fight Cancer, Not Me

Insurance is a major consideration when seeking treatment with proton therapy. Most centers have an energetic staff with expertise in squeezing out every last drop of coverage. Any innovative new technology faces an uphill battle for government approval and insurance acceptance. Medicare said yes long ago, but insurance companies balk at high payments, seeking alternatives by claiming x-rays are as effective as proton therapy. (See my blog about criminal activity on the part of insurance companies who deny coverage: blog.InsuranceCriminals.html.)

Now, a new organization has been formed to advocate for insurance coverage: The Alliance for Proton Therapy Access. Their motto is the title of this blog: "Insurers: Fight Cancer, Not Me".
(Go to Full Article.)

October 11, 2017

High numbers, Bankruptcies, and Fraud Impede Proton Therapy Developments

I’m not a mathematician, but I love numbers. When it comes to huge projects such as building and operating proton therapy centers, the numbers have to work. Just because you predict success and profit, doesn’t mean it will follow. In a number of instances, the numbers didn’t work, and led to failure. Below, in this rather long article, I cover a number of topics, all related to numbers.
(Go to Full Article.)

Februay 8, 2017

Getting Insurance to Pay for Proton Therapy

For all medical issues, insurance is a critical consideration, such that in my book I have two chapters on the subject. For those who prefer to do their own research or aren't able to benefit fro what I have written, I have included in the discussion below the general principles and links to the sources I found helpful.
(Go to full article.)


February 1, 2017

The Superiority of Proton Therapy

Proton beam therapy is the wave of the future because of its accuracy and reduced side effects. Can x-rays and surgery achieve the same results? Some radiologists make that claim, but the statistics say otherwise. Urologists often call surgery the "gold standard," yet that does not prove to be the case. Some critics say protons are unproven, een though 160,000 people have been treated worldwide and new centers are being built all around the country at great cost.
(Go to full article.)


January 1, 2017

It all started with my PSA numbers

Prostate problems are usually diagnosed based on increasing PSA numbers (Prostate Specific Antigen). The PSA, a protein, is an antigenic enzyme released by the prostate and found in abnormally high concentrations in the blood of men with prostate cancer. An antigen is any substance that causes an immune system to produce antibodies against it. Usually the response is very specific which can idetify the source, in this case, the prostate. A simple blood test can determine the PSA. Any amount could imply a problem, but a low number can often go untreated for a long time. Thus, one approach to a rising PSA number is called watchful waiting. In many cases, some response is eventually needed. Responding too soon or two aggresively may not comprise medical necessity.
(Go to full article.)

 

 

 

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Best Prostate Cancer Treatment: Proton Beam Therapy

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Proton Therapy: Revolutionary Treatment for 80% of ALL Cancers

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