Payne, Jr. Introduces Legislation to Expand Colorectal Cancer Screenings to Underserved Communities

Sep 29, 2016 Issues: Health Care

Washington, D.C.Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Co-Chair of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus, announced the introduction of legislation aimed at extending colorectal cancer screenings to underserved populations. The Donald Payne Sr. Colorectal Cancer Detection Act of 2016 (H.R.6275) would provide Medicare coverage for U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved qualifying colorectal cancer (CRC) screening blood-based tests.

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer, yet it remains the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, mainly because 1 in 3 Americans do not stay up-to-date with their screenings. We need new and innovative tools to reach these patients,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “While the Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a new blood-based screening test, which will enable historically underserved communities to more fully participate in screening, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reimbursement is not yet aligned with it.  For this reason, I have introduced legislation that would include all FDA-approved blood-based screening tests with available screening methods and authorize equivalent CMS reimbursement. By doing so, we can finally close the gap and screen the unscreened.”

In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a non-invasive test that detects the presence of a DNA marker that may be present in the blood of patients with colorectal cancer. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursement for this test is not formally authorized despite the FDA’s rigorous review process.

The Donald Payne Sr. Colorectal Cancer Detection Act would provide Medicare coverage for all FDA-approved blood-based screening tests with available screening methods and authorize equivalent CMS reimbursement. The legislation is named after Congressman Payne, Jr.’s father, the late Congressman Donald M. Payne, who died in 2012 from colorectal cancer that was tragically detected too late for effective treatment.

The bill is cosponsored by Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) and Congressman John Delaney (MD-6).

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