Delegate Westfall files legislation aimed at improving health outcomes in West Virginia

Delegate Westfall’s Bill Expands Access to Precision Medicine Testing

January 16, 2024

CHARLESTON, W. Va. –Delegate Steve Westfall recently introduced legislation that would increase access to biomarker testing, which can help determine the best treatment plan for a specific patient. Despite its benefits, access to biomarker testing has not kept pace with the rate of innovation due to several barriers, including lack of coverage by health insurance and Medicaid programs, which this legislation would fix.

“This bill expands coverage of biomarker testing so more West Virginia patients can utilize this game-changing tool,” said Delegate Steve Westfall, chairman of the Insurance Committee and sponsor of the biomarker testing bill. “The expansion of coverage for biomarker tests will not have a significant impact on insurance costs. In fact, biomarker testing can lead to lower treatment costs by avoiding ineffective or unnecessary treatments and matching patients with individualized treatment plans.”

“Dubbed ‘the right treatment at the right time,’ precision medicine has played a critical role in improving cancer outcomes,” said Doug Hogan, government relations director, ACS CAN. “ACS CAN thanks Delegate Westfall for sponsoring this important next step in ensuring patients have access to precision medicine and looks forward to working with the rest of the legislature to pass this critical legislation.” 

“This is an exciting day for cancer patients in West Virginia,” added Dr. Hannah W. Hazard-Jenkins, MD FACS, executive chair and director, WVU Cancer Institute. "Biomarker testing enables clinicians to truly develop a personalized treatment plan for West Virginians diagnosed with cancer. Our state has the highest cancer mortality in the country. The biomarker bill will save lives and improve the quality of life for many patients.”




About ACS CAN:
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting 

More Press Releases AboutAccess to Biomarker Testing, West Virginia

Media Contacts

Michelle Zimmerman
Associate Director, Regional Media Advocacy