Armstrong Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure Access to Innovative Multi-Cancer Screening Technologies for Medicare Beneficiaries

August 11, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) joined Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Congressmen Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), and Richard Hudson (R-NC) as a cosponsor of the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act, legislation to ensure timely Medicare coverage of groundbreaking early cancer detection tests for our nation’s seniors. The bipartisan legislation promotes emerging advances in our nation’s fight against cancer by ensuring Medicare coverage for new, innovative tests that detect multiple types of cancer before symptoms develop.

“Making sure patients have access to preventative care can save lives,” said Congressman Armstrong. “I am proud to support this legislation that will help North Dakota Medicare beneficiaries access innovative multi-cancer early detection screening as soon as possible.”

The legislation will:

  • Authorize the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cover the latest approved Food and Drug Administration (FDA) diagnostic technologies, including blood-based multi-cancer early detection tests and future test methods that draw on samples of urine or hair;

 

  • Maintain CMS authority to use an evidence-based process to determine coverage parameters for these new tests;

 

  • State that these new tests will supplement, not replace, existing screenings and will not affect existing coverage and cost-sharing; and

 

  • Direct the Government Accountability Office to issue a report that tracks utilization and makes recommendations to expand usage.

Under current law, Medicare coverage of preventive services is limited to circumstances in which Congress has explicitly authorized coverage or the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends the service with a grade of A or B. In the absence of this legislation, it could take several years after FDA approval before Medicare beneficiaries could receive coverage for such tests. This bill will greatly reduce delays for seniors while allowing CMS to use its evidence-based process to determine coverage. Accordingly, these new multi-cancer screening tools will complement existing screenings and dramatically improve our nation’s cancer early detection capabilities.

 Full text of the legislation can be found here.

 

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