November 04, 2021

Massachusetts Deliberates Cancer Screening Measures

A Massachusetts committee considers legislation expanding coverage for breast and colorectal cancer screening. Illinois’ Senate passes a bill modifying protocols for physician assistant (PA) collaboration.

Scope of Practice

In Illinois, senators passed Senate Bill 145. The bill would require physicians collaborating with PAs to file notice of employment, discharge or collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health within 60 days of the action.

The Illinois Radiological Society is monitoring the bill.

Cancer Screening

In Massachusetts, three bills will be heard before the Joint Committee on Financial Services. House Bill 1043, HB 1175 and SB 697 would mandate coverage for:

  • A baseline mammogram for women between the ages of 35–40 and for a mammogram on an annual basis for women 40 and older.
  • A mammogram examination deemed medically necessary by the woman’s healthcare provider for a woman younger than 40 with a family history or other risk factors.
  • A diagnostic mammography and ultrasound evaluation of an entire breast or both breasts if the screening mammogram shows any abnormality where additional examination is deemed medically necessary by the radiologist interpreting the screening mammogram.
  • A screening ultrasound or screening MRI if the patient is deemed to be at increased lifetime risk for breast cancer or has additional risk factors.

HB 1043 and SB 697 would define a screening mammogram as “a radiologic procedure that is provided to an asymptomatic woman for the purpose of early detection of breast cancer. This includes digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis.” Diagnostic examinations for breast cancer would be defined as “a medically necessary and appropriate examination for breast cancer to evaluate the abnormality in the breast that is seen or suspected from a screening examination for breast cancer, detected by another means of examination, recommended based upon prior diagnostic evaluation, or suspected based on the medical history or family medical history of the individual.”

HB 1176 would prohibit carriers that cover colorectal cancer screenings or breast cancer screenings from imposing:

  • A deductible for a procedure that a physician initially undertakes as a screening colonoscopy or a screening sigmoidoscopy or a screening mammogram.
  • A coinsurance, copayment, deductible or other out-of-pocket expense for any additional colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or mammogram ordered in a policy year by a physician for an enrollee.

The Massachusetts Radiological Society supports HB 1043, HB 1175 and SB 697 and is monitoring HB 1176.

For more information, please contact Tina Getachew or Eugenia Brandt. To stay current on state legislative developments relevant to radiology, view the American College of Radiology® policy map.