Get the latest news and updates from Susan G. Komen

Blog  |  Newsroom

Statement on Passage of Critical Breast Health Legislation in Mississippi

JACKSON – Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today issued the following statement on the passage of two critical breast health bills in Mississippi. The first removes patient cost for diagnostic and supplemental imaging, a critical form of breast cancer screening for some high-risk individuals and an important step in determining the need for a biopsy to rule out or confirm breast cancer. The second prohibits the use of step therapy protocols for metastatic cancer patients. Both bills have been approved by the Mississippi legislature and signed into law by Governor Tate Reeves:

“We thank the legislature and Governor Reeves for eliminating barriers to care for metastatic cancer patients and also ensuring that people with state-regulated health plans receive their medically necessary diagnostic and supplemental imaging without any patient cost sharing,” said Molly Guthrie, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at Susan G. Komen.

“Thousands of Mississippians require diagnostic and supplemental breast imaging every year, yet many forgo them due to out-of-pocket costs. Not anymore. This life-saving legislation means they will now receive the breast imaging they require, leading to an earlier breast cancer diagnosis and often better health outcomes.

“The metastatic step therapy legislation will ensure metastatic cancer patients are not forced to first try a health plan preferred drug, have that drug fail them – meaning the treatment didn’t work for the patient – before they can access the treatment their provider first prescribed. Step therapy is a tool health plans use in an attempt to control costs; despite the potential impact it might have on a patient’s treatment and health outcomes.

“Enactment of this legislation will eliminate a key barrier to care so metastatic breast cancer patients with state-regulated health plans can receive the therapies they require for the treatment of their cancer without burdensome insurance protocols and red tape.

“Komen will continue to advocate for legislation that ensures fair and equitable access to high-quality breast care for all, no matter their age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, cancer stage or socio-economic status.”