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Senate Begins Hearings on Breast Cancer Screening Bill

January 27, 2022
Jean Schmidt News

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Senate Health Committee today began hearings on House Bill 371, legislation to increase breast cancer screening accessibility and early detection to patients. The bi-partisan bill, sponsored by State Representatives Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) and Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati), passed in the House with a vote of 89-2.

“Mammography is the first line of breast cancer detection,” said Schmidt. "Years ago, when it wasn’t covered by insurance companies, I fought and passed legislation ensuring women would have access to this life saving exam. Today, the fight continues.”

H.B. 371 will accomplish the following:

  • Updates the patient notification letter sent to women who are diagnosed with dense breasts that better explains the increased risks of breast cancer for women with dense breast tissue.
  • Allow women of any age or risk factor to receive a yearly mammogram.
  • Includes tomosynthesis, which is essentially a 3-D mammogram, in the definition of mammography.
  • Expands coverage for supplemental breast cancer screenings for women who have been diagnosed with dense breasts or have a genetic or family history of breast cancer. These supplemental screenings include chest MRIs and ultrasounds. These exams are necessary for some women to determine whether or not breast cancer is present.

Schmidt noted during her testimony that one in eight women will get breast cancer – with 75% of these women having no prior family history – and that women with dense breasts are at a greater risk of breast cancer.

“We know early detection is the key to survival. Early detection reduces the cost to fight and hopefully cure breast cancer. Most importantly, we know that the human cost – to families, employers, and society – when a woman fights for her life is enormous,” added Schmidt.

H.B. 371 now awaits additional committee hearings.