New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0444-2014    Version: * Name: Requiring insurance companies to cover other types of cancer screening testing including genetics testing, ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on Health
On agenda: 10/22/2014
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York State legislature to pass legislation requiring insurance companies to cover other types of cancer screening testing including genetics testing, ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging and mandating that insurance companies dedicate a portion of their profits to researching and developing new early detection screening measures for cancer.
Sponsors: Elizabeth S. Crowley, Rafael L. Espinal, Jr., Laurie A. Cumbo, Mathieu Eugene, Corey D. Johnson, Peter A. Koo, Rosie Mendez, Donovan J. Richards, Paul A. Vallone
Council Member Sponsors: 9
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
12/31/2017*Elizabeth S. Crowley City Council Filed (End of Session)  Action details Meeting details Not available
10/22/2014*Elizabeth S. Crowley City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
10/22/2014*Elizabeth S. Crowley City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Res. No. 444

 

Resolution calling upon the New York State legislature to pass legislation requiring insurance companies to cover other types of cancer screening testing including genetics testing, ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging and mandating that insurance companies dedicate a portion of their profits to researching and developing new early detection screening measures for cancer.

 

By Council Members Crowley, Espinal, Cumbo, Eugene, Johnson, Koo, Mendez, Richards and Vallone

 

                     Whereas, Breast and ovarian cancer are two types of cancer that substantially affect women; and

                     Whereas, According to the American Cancer Society, a leading public health organization, in 2014, approximately 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States; and

                     Whereas, In addition, an estimated 40,000 women will lose their battle to breast cancer in 2014; and

                     Whereas, While the cause of breast cancer remains unknown, individuals can make certain lifestyle changes to lower their risk of developing the disease including reducing alcohol use, breastfeeding, engaging in physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and a proper diet; and

                     Whereas, Yet, there are many factors that contribute to breast cancer including age, race, ethnicity, family history and reproductive history which cannot be modified; and

                     Whereas, Therefore, the most important tool in reducing the risk of breast cancer is early detection, as the earlier the disease is detected, the better the chance for successful treatment; and

                     Whereas, Doctors attribute breast cancer screening and early detection to saving thousands of women’s lives each year; and

                     Whereas, There are many screening tools including mammography, clinical breast exam, breast self-exam, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which can all help detect cancer at an earlier and more treatable stage; and

                     Whereas, Mammography is one of the most effective screening tools at finding breast cancer at an early stage; and

                     Whereas, Yet, mammograms do have some limitations where a small percentage of cancers can be missed by the test and in other cases, an abnormal mammogram may require a biopsy which later turns out to be negative for breast cancer; and

                     Whereas, Currently, New York State law mandates that insurance companies provide mammograms for a person of any age who has a close relative with a history of cancer, a baseline reading between the ages 30 to 35 years and annually at age 40 and older; and

                     Whereas, While this is significant, coverage should be expanded to cover other types of screening tools including MRI, genetics testing and other developing technologies; and

                     Whereas, MRI is generally recommended for women who are at high-risk of developing breast cancer, those that have a family history or prior radiation treatment, as it is able to detect cancer that may be missed by a mammogram; and

                     Whereas, Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is another screening tool which allows the physician to use sound waves to look into the patient’s body and further examine a mass in a less invasive manner; and

                     Whereas, Genetics testing is also available as a tool to screen for breast cancer, as this technique examines the genes looking for alterations that may increase risk of cancer; and                     

                     Whereas, In addition to breast cancer, ovarian cancer is also a substantial public health problem facing women, accounting for the leading cause of death from cancer of the female reproductive system; and

                     Whereas, The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States, in 2014, there will be approximately 21,980 new cases of ovarian cancer in women and approximately 14,270 women will die from the disease; and

                     Whereas, Certain behavioral and lifestyle changes can lower a woman’s risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer; and

                     Whereas, Approximately 20 percent of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage and this improves the woman’s chance of successful treatment and survival; and

                     Whereas, Early detection tools for ovarian cancer include pelvic exams and ultrasounds and blood tests for women who are at high risk of developing ovarian cancer; and

                     Whereas, Additionally, there are other tests to help determine if a woman has ovarian cancer including computed tomography, barium enema x-rays, MRI, positron emission tomography, laparoscopy, colonoscopy and biopsy; and

                     Whereas, While New York State law created an ovarian cancer information program and ovarian cancer is part of the State’s cancer control plan, insurance coverage of ovarian cancer testing is not mandated and ovarian cancer clinical trials are not covered by insurance; and

                     Whereas, Many of these advanced screening technologies for breast and ovarian cancer are widely available but unfortunately, they are not all covered by health insurance programs; and

                     Whereas, Any test that a physician believes will be useful in detecting cancer at an earlier stage should be covered as part of an individual’s health insurance coverage; and

                     Whereas, Insurance companies should be at the forefront of improving and investing in

medical technologies that could detect cancers earlier, as this would further reduce health care costs; now, therefore, be it

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State legislature to pass legislation requiring insurance companies to cover other types of cancer screening testing including genetics testing, ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging and mandating that insurance companies dedicate a portion of their profits to researching and developing new early detection screening measures for cancer.

 

Res. No. 83-2010

JP

2/18/14

LS 212