LAKE SUCCESS, NY – November 27, 2023 – Local health care providers, cancer survivors, and patient advocates gathered today at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute to call on Governor Kathy Hochul to prioritize health equity by improving access to biomarker testing and signing Se
ACS CAN Statement on Nevada Biomarker Legislation
LAS VEGAS, NEV. – The Nevada State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 155 as the 82nd legislative session adjourned, Monday. The bill establishes provisions for biomarker testing in Nevada but falls short of ensuring broader patient access to needed testing. While the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) appreciates lawmakers’ recognition of the growing importance of biomarker testing in the treatment of cancer and other conditions, this bill was significantly weakened from its original intent.
The bill was initially designed to require insurance coverage of biomarker testing when supported by medical and scientific evidence. Unfortunately, an amendment to the bill will create an additional hurdle for coverage. Testing will now be required to meet a standard of medical necessity above and beyond the standard of scientific evidence already required in the legislation.
The legislation also limits coverage to cancer applications only, further limiting its impact. Biomarker testing allows for more personalized treatment for many diseases and conditions beyond cancer including autoimmune diseases, rare diseases, and organ transplant with research happening in many other areas. For these reasons, dozens of patient groups representing many different disease types supported this legislation. Furthermore, cancer patients are living longer and experiencing high rates of comorbidities due to both shared risk factors and side effects of treatments. Non-oncology applications could be critical in their care.
Biomarker testing helps connect patients to the right treatment at the right time. ACS CAN and our volunteers, including cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers are disappointed the current legislation will not meaningfully expand patient access to medically appropriate biomarker testing. Our organization looks forward to working with lawmakers on enacting model legislation during the next session.
To date, 11 states including our neighbors in Arizona, have passed legislation aligning insurance coverage of comprehensive biomarker testing with the latest evidence. None have added additional medical necessity barriers.