Archive for the ‘Legislative’ Category

First in the Nation: Governor Wolf Signs Statement Covering 3D Mammograms in PA

Posted By on August 16th, 2016 at 10:15 am | 0 comments.

Pat and Governor Wolf rounded cornersOn October 5, 2015, Governor Tom Wolf made Pennsylvania the first state in the nation to require insurance coverage of 3D screening mammograms for women insured under PA law. First Lady Frances Wolf made the historic announcement almost one year ago at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference in Harrisburg. Now, 3D screenings mammograms are covered at no additional cost to insured women and women covered through Medicaid.

To mark the 1st anniversary of the groundbreaking news, the PBCC is informing women across the state about how to access 3D screening mammograms in their area. We’ve launched a 1-question survey of all mammography centers. At our Conference October 10, we will release a list of the Pennsylvania 3D mammography centers. The list will also be published on our website, in our Frontline newsletter and right here in PinkLink.

Do you work for a mammography center that offers 3D screening mammograms? Don’t miss the list! Take the survey now and make sure your facility is listed as a 3D mammography provider.

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Governor Wolf Signs Bill Covering Oral Cancer Treatment for PA Patients

Posted By on July 14th, 2016 at 9:43 am | 0 comments.
PBCC Director of Patient Advocacy Dolores Magro spoke with oral chemo parity bill author Rep. Matt Baker at a recent press conference held by the PA Cancer Treatment Fairness Coalition at the State Capitol.

PBCC Director of Patient Advocacy Dolores Magro spoke with oral chemo parity bill author Rep. Matt Baker at a recent press conference held by the PA Cancer Treatment Fairness Coalition at the State Capitol.

Governor Tom Wolf just signed a bill that helps with the high costs of oral cancer treatment for patients in Pennsylvania. Rep. Matt Baker’s House Bill 60 specifically addresses the cost disparity between intravenous and oral cancer treatments. Previously, oral cancer medication was covered under an insurer’s pharmacy (drug) benefit, often requiring patients to pay thousands of dollars per month, out-of-pocket. Now, oral treatments will be covered the same as intravenous medications on an insurer’s medical benefit, which means patients will only be required to make a fixed co-payment.

Rep. Baker, a 2015 PBCC Pink Ribbon Awardee, authored the oral cancer treatment parity bill and has been working to pass the legislation for years. The following legislators were also instrumental in the passage of the bill: Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, Senate sponsor of oral cancer treatment parity legislation, Sen. Pat Vance, chair, Senate Health and Public Welfare Committee, Sen. Don White, chair, Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, chair, House Cancer Caucus.
“This legislation was a long time in coming. With more than 80,000 people per year receiving a cancer diagnosis in Pennsylvania, we needed to step up and make sure everyone has access to the best and most cutting-edge cancer treatments”
Rep Matt Baker, (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter)
Author of Act 37, oral cancer treatment parity law

“Oral cancer treatment is the wave of the future,” said PBCC President Pat Halpin-Murphy. “We commend Governor Wolf for signing this law and we congratulate Rep. Baker for his commitment to the thousands of cancer patients this will impact across Pennsylvania. This will truly save lives.”

According to Rep. Baker, Pennsylvania now joins more than 40 states and Washington, D.C., in having enacted legislation to control out-of-pocket oral cancer treatment costs for patients.

3D Mammogram Coverage Information Available for PA Women

Posted By on February 15th, 2016 at 9:26 am | 0 comments.

3d-mammogram-for-PL3D mammograms are FREE for women in Pennsylvania! If you are insured under PA law or if you are covered by Medicaid in PA, 3D mammograms are available at no cost to you.

Have questions?

Click here to download our free 3D mammogram information sheet.

Click here for frequently asked questions about 3D mammograms from the PA Insurance Commission.

World Cancer Day 2016: A Day to Take Action

Posted By on February 4th, 2016 at 8:21 am | 0 comments.

World-Cancer-Day-graphic

Today is World Cancer Day!  It’s a day that unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer.  Here at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition, we are dedicated to fighting breast cancer every day and YOU can help us!  Want to know how?  Make this World Cancer Day a day to take action:

Schedule your annual mammogram and/or tell a friend to do the same

  • We’re all busy, but not too busy to know the importance of early detection. By scheduling your mammogram, you’re taking time to ensure you are healthy and that is more than worth it.  It could save your life!  P.S. While you’re there, check to see if you have dense breast tissue and, if you do, ask about supplemental screenings beyond the regular mammogram like ultrasounds, MRIs or tomosynthesis (3D mammograms). FREE mammograms are available in PA. Click here to find learn more

Request a FREE Friends Like Me Care Package for a loved one recently diagnosed with breast cancer

  • The PA Breast Cancer Coalition offers free care packages full of information, educational materials, books, small gifts and headwraps for women in Pennsylvania who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer (packages are most helpful within the first 6 months).  If you have been diagnosed or you know someone who has been, click here to request a free package today.

Support life-saving legislation in Pennsylvania

  • The PA Breast Cancer Coalition worked with Sen. Bob Mensch to pass the Breast Density Notification Act requiring mammography centers to notify women of their breast density. Now, we are working on Senate Bill 842 which would require supplemental screenings like MRIs or ultrasounds to be covered for women insured in PA. Those screenings may show something that may be missed on a traditional 2D mammogram. What can YOU do?  Contact your state senator and ask him/her to support this important bill! Click here to find your lawmaker and contact information. Click here to read Senate Bill 842.

Help researchers find a cure

  • Time to start talking taxes again! This year, why not put that state income tax refund to good use? Every Pennsylvania taxpayer has the option to donate all or part of their state income tax refund on Line 32 directly to Pennsylvania breast cancer researchers.  Choose code “A” and your refund will go toward our PBCC Breast Cancer Research grants Initiative.  We have pledged $300,000 in grants this year alone.  Make a difference with us!
  • Didn’t get a refund?  Make a private donation to the PBCC today! Click here to donate now.

Volunteer or become a PBCC Grassroots Partner!

  • The PBCC is always looking for volunteers across the state! Whether it’s a few hours once a year or you are looking for something more involved, we have an opportunity for you! Click here to view our opportunities and learn more today. Looking to do even more?  Become a Grassroots Partner and host your own event in your community. Click here to find out how you can give back and make a difference for women and families in Pennsylvania.

Did you take action today? Share it on Facebook and Twitter with us!

 

President’s Corner: American Cancer Society Clarifies Mammogram Recommendations

Posted By on January 15th, 2016 at 10:03 am | 0 comments.

patheadshotforplby Pat Halpin-Murphy, President and Founder

You may recall, in October, the American Cancer Society (ACS) issued new mammography guidelines which raised concerns, especially for us here at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. The ACS recommendations suggest women begin annual mammograms at age 45 and every other year beginning at age 55. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition believes that starting mammograms at 40 is the gold standard. Another concern with the ACS recommendations was the possibility that insurance companies could use the guidelines as an opportunity to eliminate free mammograms for many women.

We know that Pennsylvania insurance agency representatives have already indicated their desire to roll back PA’s guarantee of free mammograms for state-insured women.

In response, Dr. Richard Wender, Chief Cancer Control Officer for the American Cancer Society sent a letter addressing our concerns to the PA Secretary of Health and PA Insurance Commissioner, clarifying the intent of the latest mammography guidelines.

Dr-Wender-quote-2The letter further explains the ACS recommendations, stressing the importance of a woman’s consultation with her doctor. The PBCC applauds and thanks the American Cancer Society for adressing these concerns, for providing a more in-depth explanation of its screening guidelines and for making it clear that they, in no way, support removing current insurance coverage for women 40 to 45 in our state.

Read the complete letter from Dr. Richard Wender on behalf of the American Cancer Society here.

UPDATE: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its latest mammography guidelines, recommending women begin screening at age 50. The PBCC strongly diagrees. Click here to read our press release.

President’s Corner: PA Medicaid Now Covers 3D Mammograms for Women

Posted By on December 15th, 2015 at 10:52 am | 0 comments.

patheadshotforplBy Pat Halpin-Murphy, President & Founder

Have you heard? Not only are 3D mammograms covered for women insured under Pennsylvania law, they are now covered for women insured by PA Medicaid. As of December 1, 2015, PA Medicaid participants are eligible to receive 3D mammograms at the same coverage level as traditional 2D mammograms.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, “tomosynthesis (3D mammograms) is becoming more common as many health care 3d-mammogram-for-plfacilities in this Commonwealth are replacing 2D mammography technology with 3D mammography technology, offering new opportunities to diagnose breast cancer and providing life-saving treatment earlier than ever.”

Thanks to the commitment of Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf, Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to consider 3D mammograms exactly what they are: mammograms. On October 5, 2015 at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference, First Lady Frances Wolf announced that insurers must cover 3D mammograms at no cost to women over the age of 40. The move clarifies an existing law that the PA Breast Cancer Coalition worked to pass in the 1990s.

Thanks to YOUR help, 3D mammograms are now covered for women insured by PA Medicaid. As of October 5, 2015, insurers covered under state law are also offering 3D mammogram coverage. We’re honored to take action with you!

Breaking News: PBCC to Testify in Support of Breast Cancer Screening Insurance Coverage

Posted By on November 16th, 2015 at 1:16 pm | 0 comments.

patheadshotforplBy Pat Halpin-Murphy, President & Founder

This Wednesday, we have the opportunity to make a real difference for women in Pennsylvania, but we cannot do it without your help. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition will testify Wednesday, November 18 at 10:00am before of the PA Senate Banking and Insurance Committee in support of Senate Bill 842 which requires insurance coverage of breast cancer screenings including ultrasounds and MRIs. We need YOU to be there. Wear pink and bring a friend!

Why is this so important? Ultrasounds and MRIs can provide an early, more treatable diagnosis and a less-toxic treatment for women with breast cancer. How? For women at an increased risk for breast cancer, particularly women with dense breast tissue, mammograms may not be enough to find tumors. They may need additional screenings such as ultrasounds and MRIs which reveal cancers that mammograms do not show.

The problem is – those tests are not affordable for many women even though they are insured. We know because you’ve been emailing and calling us to solve this issue. We hear you!

Now, let’s do something about it together. Join us for the state Senate hearing Wednesday at 10:00am in Hearing Room 1 of the State Capitol’s North Office Building in Harrisburg.

Be there. Be a part of history with us, again!

click-here-to-rsvp

We Made History, Again! 3D Mammograms Now Covered for Women in PA

Posted By on October 19th, 2015 at 4:27 pm | 0 comments.

First-Lady-Making-Announcement-with-videoThe 2015 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference was one for the history books. Not only did we have a day focused on education, empowerment and advocacy, we welcomed major news from PA First Lady and PBCC Honorary Chair Frances Wolf. Mrs. Wolf announced that 3D mammograms are now required to be covered by the insurance companies for women in Pennsylvania. The 3D cutting-edge mammogram that was costing $60 to $600 for some insured women is now available at no cost.

Big, BIG news! Pennsylvania is now the first state in nation to require coverage for 3D mammograms, effective now. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition would like to thank Governor Tom Wolf, First Lady Frances Wolf and Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller for making this life-changing milestone possible for women in Pennsylvania!

The Conference had other surprises in store for guests and awardees alike. We honored outstanding triple-negative breast cancer expert and researcher Dr. Edith Mitchell from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson University Hospitals with our prestigious Potamkin Prize. PA Rep. Matt Baker won a Pink Ribbon Award for his commitment to women’s health and our Breast Density Notification Act, and Dr. Wendie Berg of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC received a Pink Ribbon Award for her tremendous work on the issue of breast density. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition surprised Dr. Berg with a $50,000 Extraordinary Opportunity Grant to move forward with her research studying the accuracy of ultrasound vs. 3D mammograms for women with dense breasts.Pictures-from-Conference

Those are only a few of the day’s highlights. We enjoyed spending the day with you! If you haven’t already done so, please take 2 minutes to fill out this survey to ensure next year’s Conference is even better. You will automatically be entered to win a PBCC prize pack!

Thank you for participating in our historic 2015 PBCC Conference!

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