April 28, 2017

State Legislation Supports Cancer Screening

Legislation proposed or enacted in various states either supports or provides safeguards for consumer access to imaging-dependent preventive health care screening services or proton radiation therapy. Here’s a summary for the week of April 24 as covered in Statescape, a weekly feature of ACR Advocacy in Action eNews.

Arkansas HB 1688
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed HB 1688 into law. The legislation makes updates to the colorectal cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment act of 2009. The Arkansas Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment Program funded under this subchapter shall provide screenings and diagnostic tests for colorectal cancer to individuals who are 50 years of age or older or are under 50 years of age and are at high risk for colorectal cancer.

Arkansas HB 1724
Gov. Hutchinson signed a bill into law that adds an emergency clause to address the new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for digital mammography to maintain coverage and provide proper reimbursement for digital mammography.

Arkansas HB 2022
Gov. Hutchinson signed a bill into law that defines “breast ultrasound” and adds digital breast tomosynthesis into the definition of “screening mammography.” New law further stipulates that “insurance coverage for screening mammograms, including digital breast tomosynthesis, and breast ultrasounds shall not prejudice coverage for diagnostic mammograms or breast ultrasounds as recommended by the woman's physician.”

Kentucky HR 52
A bill urging the U.S. Congress to amend Section 1833(a)(1)(Y) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395l(a)(1)(Y)) to include coverage for a colorectal cancer screening test, regardless of the code that is billed, for the establishment of a diagnosis because of the test or for the removal of tissue or other procedure that is furnished in connection with, because of, and in the same clinical encounter as the screening test.

Maryland HB 675
A bill to compel HMOs to include coverage for digital tomosynthesis and to prevent them from imposing a co-payment or co-insurance requirement for digital tomosynthesis that is greater than a co-payment or co-insurance requirement for other breast cancer screenings for which coverage is required. Although the bill passed both houses, the state legislature adjourned for the 2017 legislative session.

Virginia HB 1656
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill into law that prohibits health insurance policies and plans from holding proton radiation therapy to a higher standard of clinical evidence for benefit coverage decisions than is applied for other types of radiation therapy treatment. The measure applies to policies and plans that provide coverage for cancer therapy.