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H.R. 2407 passes unanimously through House Ways and Means Committee

The House Ways and Means Committee unanimously voted to advance H.R. 2407: The Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act! This is a huge step in the right direction for coverage of multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests, offering hope and better outcomes for countless patients.

Several members spoke to the bill at the committee, including lead sponsors Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL-7) and Jody Arrington (R-TX-19), and California Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-D-19) saying:

“I want to thank you and the ranking member for bringing this bill for markup and thanks to both sides, including staff, for their work on the legislation this week to get it to yes. It’s important because as we are hearing, many of us have been touched by cancer, and yes, some of us more personally than others. It’s pretty clear that all of us represent thousands of cancer patients, victims, survivors, and advocates. And based on our experiences, our conversations, and our interactions with our constituents, many of us then create and author legislation. My colleague Terri Sewell has not only used her experience of losing her mother to craft this legislation she has created legislation that will affect other mothers, fathers, family members, and constituents. The Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act will bring new screenings to more patients that will improve outcomes, lower costs, and save lives. I want to thank Chair Arrington and of course Terri Sewell for their bipartisan leadership on behalf of Terri’s family, her constituents, and yes the lives of all our constituents. So, I ask my colleagues to support HR 2407.” Listen to Rep. Panetta’s comments here.

Currently, Americans most at risk for cancer— Medicare beneficiaries—will face substantial barriers to coverage of MCED tests even when they are approved by the FDA. Congress has a history of acting to ensure access to cancer screenings, including legislating Medicare coverage of the Pap test, mammography, and colon cancer and prostate cancer screenings, and must act again to ensure seniors don’t face unnecessary access barriers to these transformative new early detection tools.

To help facilitate the implementation of MCED tests once the bill passes, the following amendments are currently under consideration:

  • Effective date: The technical changes make clear that coverage of MCED tests will begin in 2028, which is realistic given the evidence needed to ensure FDA approval and for CMS to undergo its coverage determination process.
  • Phased-In approach: Following Congressional precedent for eligibility of new benefits or services, the revised language phases-in coverage of MCED tests with individuals aged 65-69 in 2028 and expands annually by one year.
  • Payment rate: New language aligns the payment rate for MCED tests with similar tests under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA).

CCPA, joined more than 500 organizations across the country, in support of this bill that would provide access to MCED tests to America’s older adults.