Senate Bill 61 would clarify that a fecal test to screen for colon cancer, and any follow-up colonoscopy, is preventive care and should be covered by medical insurers, said Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, the sponsor of the bill. He told the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare that his legislation mirrors a sister bill in the state House.
Alvarado, who is a family physician, said the problem is that insurers often not pay their share for follow-up colonoscopies if blood is detected in the preventive-care fecal testing. He called that ironic because the same insurers will pay the more expensive and evasive colonoscopy if a patient opts not to do a fecal test.
Dr. Whitney Jones testified that SB 61 was a “prescription” to save lives and money in
He said over the last decade colon cancer diagnoses are down by more than 25
percent in Kentucky
but that the state still leads the nation in colon cancer. Kentucky
“The sole purpose of this legislation is to create a clarifying law that serves as an unequivocal guide to all parties involved … about what is and what is not covered in colon cancer screening services,” said Jones, a gastroenterologist from Louisville. “
citizens deserve a broader more accessible access to screening not a narrow
restrictive policy that supports other people’s interests.” Kentucky
SB 61 now returns to the full Senate for consideration.