ADDISON – The Texas House of Representatives passed a new bill on May 5 requiring insurance companies in Texas to cover 3-D mammograms for breast cancer screening and diagnosis.
Texas House Bill 1036 passed through the state’s Insurance Committee and will now move to the Texas Senate. If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, it will require all commercial insurance providers in Texas to cover 3-D mammography at no out-of-pocket expense to the patient.
The bill was introduced on Jan. 1 by Texas Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston).
Medical experts say 3-D mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis, is a more advanced form of breast cancer screening and provides patients with a better chance for early detection. Health benefit plans now cover only 2-D mammography screenings. If signed into law, House Bill 1036 would make it easier for women to get the 3-D exam.
“The Texas House of Representatives and Rep. Thompson have made a giant leap forward for the women of Texas and for breast health by passing House Bill 1036,” James Polfreman, president and CEO of Solis Mammography, told The Record.
The bill defines breast tomosynthesis as a “radiologic procedure that involves the acquisition of projection images over a stationary breast to produce cross-sectional digital three-dimensional images of the breast.”
“3-D mammography is the most advanced form of breast screening available,” said Polfreman. “Research proves it reduces unnecessary callbacks and increases early detection when survival rates are highest and treatment options are the least invasive.”
If enacted by the legislature, Texas would become the sixth state to have legislation in place for insurers to treat all screening mammography
“Now, it’s up to the Senate and our governor to propel this bill forward and ensure all women in Texas have access to the best screening available,” said Polfreman.