ACS CAN supports the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act (HR 2407/S 2085)

June 20, 2024

Multi-Cancer Screening Tests Can Catch Cancer Early

Earlier screening for cancer is important because when detected at later stages, treatments are more limited, and outcomes are generally poorer. Medicare enrollees should have access to multi-cancer screening tests when the benefit is clinically shown. Multi-cancer early detection tests are innovative tests that have the potential to detect multiple cancers through the use of a single test. Several private and academic entities are currently developing multi-cancer early detection blood-based tests. Published data indicate that some of these tests can screen for many different types of cancers at the same time, including some rare cancers.

Because the risk of cancer increases with age, Medicare beneficiaries are especially vulnerable.  Legislation would potentially expand access to cancer screenings in Medicare, by granting the program the authority to cover mulit-cancer early detection tests, once the test has been approved by the FDA and clinical benefit is shown. CMS will determine its coverage paramteres through an evidence-based process.

The bill makes clear that Medicare's coverage of MCED tests does not affect Medicare's existing coverage of other cancer screening modalities. Coverage of these new tests will complement and not replace Medicare's existing coverage of cancer screening tests.The bill will provide CMS the authority to create coverage parameters, but does not mandate that CMS cover specific tests. Without legislation, Medicare beneficiaries could experience unacceptable delays in access to multi-cancer early detection.