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August 11, 2023

Congress Considering Bills to Improve Access to Cancer Screening

Congress is currently considering two bills to support and improve access to cancer screening and diagnosis.  Both were introduced in early June 2023.  The SCREENS for Cancer Act of 2023 aims to reauthorize and implement improvements to the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for 2024 through 2028.  This program provides low-income, underinsured, and uninsured women with screening examinations for breast and cervical cancer, as well as education, navigation, and care coordination services.  The Access to Breast Cancer Diagnosis Act of 2023 would expand the prohibition on cost-sharing for breast cancer screenings.  The Act would prohibit health insurance companies and health plans from requiring cost-sharing for further diagnostic tests, such as MRI or ultrasound, when initial screening requires additional testing to achieve a diagnosis, thereby increasing the ability of low-income women to obtain a diagnosis that can lead to earlier treatment.

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