The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute has ongoing discussions with state and federal policy-makers. In the 2009 session of the Oregon legislature, the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute joined a coalition to support three bills:
- SB 819: Breast Cancer Treatment Equity Act
This legislation addresses a restrictive eligibility rule that limits access to a federal treatment program for qualified women who did not receive their breast cancer diagnosis from a contracted Oregon Breast and Cervical Cancer healthcare provider. This legislation would “open the portal,” allowing a woman to receive treatment regardless of where she was diagnosed.
- SB892: Early Detection Saves Lives and Money
This legislation is a request for state funding for the Oregon Breast and Cervical Cancer Program for screening and diagnostic breast services for low-income women. The program is currently funded by a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a required match from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Oregon is one of the few states that does not fund this important program.
- SB316: Will require insurance companies to continue providing routine care to patients
This legislation requires health plans to cover the routine costs of care for patients in qualifying clinical trials. This legislation was passed into law on June 16, 2009.
The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Breast Health Education Program helped introduce and pass HB2498 in 2005. It requires commercial insurers to pay for high quality clinical breast exams, separately from a comprehensive women’s health exam.