(WBNG Binghamton) The New York State Senate on Tuesday gave final passage to a bill that provides additional resources for breast cancer research and also passed a measure to increase access to important information about changes to women's health coverage.
According to a news release:
The bills, sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau County), support breast cancer mapping initiatives and facilitate public education about newly-covered preventive services and health screening for women.
"We have made great strides in identifying the incidences of breast cancer statewide, but more can and should be done to isolate clusters and areas of the state where this insidious disease is more common than others," said Senator Hannon, Chairman of the Health Committee. "This bill would encourage more mapping and solicit innovative proposals to identify why some areas are more prone to breast cancer than others."
Senator Hannon's bill (S3768) allows funds from the Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund to be used towards breast cancer mapping initiatives. The Fund supports research or educational programs which focus on the causes, prevention, screening, treatment and cure of breast cancer research. This legislation would add breast cancer mapping to the programs which currently include basic, behavioral, clinical, demographic, environmental, epidemiologic and psychosocial research.
Another bill (S3817) passed Tuesday directs the state Department of Health (DOH) to create a website that provides information about important changes to women's health policy and other resources in New York.
"With more and more people turning to the Internet as their primary source of information on health care, we must make sure information is accessible, accurate and up to date," said Senator Hannon. "A website aimed specifically at women is needed to promote recent changes in law which provide for coverage of a vast number of preventative services for women, at no cost to the individual. For example, women many not be aware that their insurance policy covers breast cancer mammography screening or cervical cancer screening at no cost to them. The goal of this legislation is to advance these preventative services and ensure they are being utilized."
Recently enacted laws affecting public programs, insurance coverage and other aspects of health policy have resulted in increased coverage for 22 preventative services and the screening for certain diseases. The new DOH website and use of social media would help educate the public and raise awareness of the newly-covered health care services, provide links to useful resources, and encourage women to receive preventive services and screening.
Bill S3768 has also passed the Assembly and will be delivered to the Governor. Bill S3817 will be sent to the Assembly.