Komen Advocates Push for the Passing of House Bill 3194
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2015
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Breast Cancer Survivors Ask State Lawmakers to Remove Barriers to Mammography
Survivors and advocates urged state House committee to move Diagnostic Mammography bill forward
Austin, Texas: Local breast cancer survivors along with leading cancer organizations and agencies from across the state of Texas appeared at the state Capitol last week to back house bill 3194. The bill authored by San Antonio House Reprentative Diego Bernal (HD 123) calls on insurance companies to remove out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic mammograms. The Affordable Care Act requires most insurance plans to cover screening mammograms at no cost to the patient. There is no such requirement for diagnostic mammograms, making it difficult for women to access the very test that is needed to determine whether she has cancer when a doctor finds a breast abnormality from the initial screening mammogram.
“When I needed to get a diagnostic mammogram, I put it off because I didn’t have the money for the co-pay. I had to get a payday loan, and was diagnosed later with breast cancer. I could have found the cancer earlier, saved my breasts, hair and lots of heartache had the test been available without those costs,” Vera Franklin told House Insurance Committee members.
Eliza May, Director of Mission Services at Susan G. Komen® Austin testified that, “Many women are putting the test off due to the upfront costs, and it’s resulting in later stage cancers that are up to five times more expensive to treat than earlier stage cancers.”
Reducing out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic mammography would remove barriers to care and allow for more timely diagnoses and treatments of breast cancer.
- An estimated 17 percent of screening mammograms required follow-up diagnostic testing.
- From an early detection perspective, a screening mammogram would not be considered successful if the follow-up diagnostic mammogram was not preformed to identify the abmormality or possible cancer.
- Diagnostic mammography is coded differently than a screening mammogram, because additional x-rays are required to obtain views of the breast from several angles.
The bill was left pending and will need to move out of committee soon for any chance of being heard before the full House. Susan G. Komen® supports the bill aimed at saving more lives from breast cancer.
About Susan G. Komen® Austin
Saving lives locally. Fighting breast cancer globally.
Susan G. Komen® Austin is an Austin-based nonprofit committed to saving lives locally and fighting breast cancer globally. Komen Austin is the only local breast cancer organization attacking the disease on all fronts – education, screening, treatment, follow-up care, survivorship support, advocacy and research. The organization serves the women and men in the city’s five-county area battling breast cancer by removing barriers to care for the uninsured and underinsured. Of the funds raised annually, Komen Austin invests up to 75 percent into local community health care grants and educational initiatives; the remaining 25 percent is invested into global research to find the cures for breast cancer.