Published on June 22, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate introduced bipartisan legislation that recognizes emerging advances in our nation’s fight against cancer by ensuring Medicare can make a coverage decision for new, innovative tests that could detect multiple types of cancer. The Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act will allow older Americans with Medicare the possibility of access to multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests once they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and shown to have clinical benefit. MCED tests, also called liquid biopsies, are blood-based tests, designed to identify the presence of cancer for more than one cancer at a time.
S. 2085 is sponsored by U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.). This legislation modernizes the Medicare program and creates a benefit category for MCED tests, which allows the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to initiate an evidenced-based coverage process for multi-cancer tests upon FDA approval.
On March 30, the Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 2407 is sponsored by U.S. Reps. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.). S. 2085 is the companion bill that brings us one step closer to enabling older Americans with Medicare to access MCED tests. The Prevent Cancer Foundation appreciates the leadership of Sens. Crapo, Bennet, Scott and Cardin on this legislation to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries, and their health care providers, have access to these transformative new early detection tests.
“Without systems driving us forward to ignite change, existing disparities and the number of cancers found in late stages are likely to remain stagnant,” said Jody Hoyos, CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “We are hopeful that Congress will act swiftly in passing this important legislation.”
Breaking barriers in cancer prevention and early detection is a collective effort, and the Prevent Cancer Foundation is leading the charge. The Foundation is honored to announce that 500+ organizations from every corner of the country have come together to endorse H.R. 2407 and S. 2085. This landmark legislation is a crucial step toward ensuring that older Americans with Medicare have access to these potentially lifesaving tests.
“Science is changing, treatments are improving, but coverage is not keeping up. We need Congress to enable Medicare patients to access the newest lifesaving or life-extending tests and treatments,” said Carole Florman, policy fellow at CancerCare, one of the more than 500 organizations who has signed on to support this legislation.
About the Prevent Cancer Foundation®
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is the only U.S.-based nonprofit organization solely dedicated to cancer prevention and early detection. Through research, education, outreach and advocacy, we have helped countless people avoid a cancer diagnosis or detect their cancer early enough to be successfully treated. We are driven by a vision of a world where cancer is preventable, detectable and beatable for all.
The Foundation is rising to meet the challenge of reducing cancer deaths by 40% by 2035. To achieve this, we are committed to investing $20 million for innovative technologies to detect cancer early and advance multi-cancer screening, $10 million to expand cancer screening and vaccination access to medically underserved communities, and $10 million to educate the public about screening and vaccination options.
For more information, please visit www.preventcancer.org.