Archive for the ‘Legislative’ Category

World Cancer Day 2016: A Day to Take Action

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

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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!

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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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Action Alert: Fight for 3D Mammogram Coverage in PA

Posted By on September 16th, 2015 at 8:23 am | 0 comments.

3d-mammogram-for-plHave dense breasts? You may need extra tests. If you opt for a 3D mammogram, WE believe, your 3D mammogram should be covered under current law. 3D mammograms are mammograms. Are you with us? How can YOU help?

Tell us your story.  Send an email to Info@PABreastCancer.org with “3D Mammograms” in the subject line.  Tell us why you are so passionate about this topic (like we are!) and why you feel 3D mammograms should be treated the same as 2D screening mammograms when it comes to billing and insurance. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is taking action on this important issue, but we cannot do it alone.  Send us your story today!

Taking Action: Senate Bill 842 on Insurance Coverage for Dense Breast Screenings

Posted By on June 15th, 2015 at 8:37 am | 0 comments.

patheadshotforplAdvocacy and action for women with dense breasts marches forward in a BIG way!

PA Sen. Bob Mensch introduced Senate Bill 842, which will require all insurers to cover additional dense breast screenings like ultrasounds and MRIs. Dense breast tissue can hide tumors on a mammogram. Because of that, women with dense breast tissue often need added screenings. The problem is – some insurers don’t cover them. This legislation will change that for Pennsylvania women.
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The PA Breast Cancer Coalition worked with Sen. Mensch to pass the Breast Density Notification Act requiring mammography centers to notify women of their breast density in 2014. This year, the PBCC distributed surveys and is collecting data from women and mammography facilities across the state. Now, we want to ensure that women have access to the best screening options available to them, without any worry about how the tests being covered. Thanks to Sen. Mensch and your efforts, we believe they won’t have to worry much longer.

Watch our video below for more information on Senate Bill 842. Learn why this is so important and find out what YOU can do to help.

Take action. Save lives.

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Will YOU Help Women in PA? Take Action. Save Lives.

Posted By on May 15th, 2015 at 8:33 am | 0 comments.

woman-getting-mammogram-pinklinkNow that mammography facilities in Pennsylvania are required to notify women of their breast density (a result of the PBCC’s Breast Density Notification Act), we need your help with the next steps on this critical advocacy effort. We believe our actions will save the lives of women across the state.

Now that mammography facilities in Pennsylvania are required to notify women of their breast density (a result of the PBCC’s Breast Density Notification Act), we need your help with the next steps on this critical advocacy effort. We believe our actions will save the lives of women across the state.

We have developed two surveys: one for women in our state and one for the mammography centers they visit for screenings like mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs and 3D mammograms (tomosynthesis).

The PBCC needs to gather information from both women and facilities in order to develop resources, materials and corresponding legislation to follow the Breast Density Notification Act. Please take 5 minutes and fill out the survey that best fits your role in our outreach efforts.

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