May 09, 2019

States Advance Breast Cancer Screening and Breast Density Bills

States are proceeding with legislation focused on breast cancer screening and mandating notification of breast density to patients.

Breast Cancer Imaging

In Colorado, HB 1301 cleared both chambers. The bill would mandate coverage for preventive breast cancer screening studies defined as a mammogram for individuals at average risk, a mammogram using a noninvasive imaging modality as recommended by the health provider, or a mammogram and medically recommended subsequent noninvasive imaging modality for patients at average risk with incomplete mammogram results or for high-risk patients. It would mandate coverage for annual breast cancer screenings for all individuals who have at least one breast cancer risk factor or prior family history of breast cancer. Women, who are at least 40 years old or who have an increased lifetime risk determined by a risk factor model, would also qualify.

In Illinois, SB 162 would expand coverage for a comprehensive ultrasound screening and diagnostic mammogram when medically necessary as determined by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches, advanced practice registered nurse or physician assistant. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the House Human Services Committee.

In Maine, LD 1264/SP 384 died in the state House of Representatives. It would have amended the definition of screening mammography to include digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) screening and required insurance coverage for the procedure.

In New York, SB 3852 passed the senate chamber. It would cover annual mammograms for persons age 35 through 39.

Breast Density

In Illinois, SB 1506 is scheduled for a hearing before the House Human Services Committee. The bill would mandate mammography service providers to inform and notify patients if their mammogram demonstrates dense breast tissue. The mammography report would include a summary with language that may include, but not limited to, the following information:

“Your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense. Dense breast tissue is very common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information about the result of your mammogram is given to you to raise your awareness. Use this information to talk to your doctor about your own risks for breast cancer. At that time, ask your doctor if more screening tests might be useful, based on your risk. A report of your results was sent to your physician."