This year, we experienced a number of healthcare challenges. However, we are closing out the year with some good news – from COVID-19 vaccine approvals to new cancer screening technology – there is hope for patients and families across the U.S.
Advances in early detection research are on the cusp of significantly improving our ability to find cancer earlier from a simple blood draw. Multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests have the ability to complement current screenings and detect many more types of cancers – before patients show symptoms.
A number of MCED tests are in development and will be available to the public in the coming years. However, even after their approval by the Food and Drug Administration, Medicare coverage for these tests – which are considered preventive care – could take up to a decade or longer if Congress doesn’t act.
A bipartisan group of Senators recently introduced S. 5051, a bill that complements HR 8845 the Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act. If passed, these bills will modernize the Medicare program to ensure seniors and their doctors will have timely access to MCED tests once they are FDA approved. The future of cancer screening includes innovative multi-cancer early detection testing, and this legislation removes coverage barriers that would otherwise stifle the promise of better treatment, lower treatment costs, and higher quality of life for patients and loved ones.