Breast cancer screening bill will soon become law

OHIO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Office of Jean Schmidt (Edited for publication) 

COLUMBUS, OH (June 10, 2022) – A bipartisan breast cancer screening bill will soon receive the Governor’s signature and become law.

State Rep. Jean Schmidt speaking on the House floor in support of Breast Cancer Screening Bill (Provided)

House Bill 371, sponsored by State Representatives Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) and Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati), is an important piece of legislation that will require insurance companies to cover additional screenings for individuals who are at high risk for breast cancer or have dense breast tissue.

Denson and Schmidt collaborated with advocates and doctors from UC Health to craft the bill’s provisions. The lawmakers and experts worked to ensure that women in Ohio have access to the screenings necessary to catching breast cancer early.

The legislation passed the Ohio House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. The Governor is expected to sign the legislation in the coming days. Once signed, the law will take effect in September.

“I look forward to seeing this legislation become law. Representative Denson and I have worked tirelessly over these past two years to move this legislation through the House and Senate,” said Schmidt. “These expanded screenings will benefit the lives of so many Ohioans while advancing us another step towards ending breast cancer.”

HB 371 expands traditional mammaography screenings to include improved tomosynthessis screenings, which can provide better images to doctors. It also allows for supplemental screenings for those who have dense breast tissue or a family history of breast cancer. These supplemental screenings, which may include MRIs or ultrasounds, can detect breast cancer when traditional screenings will not.

The bill also updates a patient notification letter to provide more detailed information about additional screenings and encourages patients to consult their doctors about further testing if necessary.

Sedrick Denson, (D- Cincinnati)

“House Bill 371 is a powerful example of what laws can accomplish with bipartisanship and support,” said Denson. “This bill will save mothers, daughters, wives and sisters, by detecting breast cancer earlier and make screenings accessible for all Ohio women.” 

One of the biggest changes is that screenings are no longer limited by age. Instead, any individual is allowed to receive a yearly screening.

Schmidt and Denson will be working with advocates to spread the message about HB 371 to patients and women across Ohio.

Schmidt emphasized the importance of receiving a yearly screening for adults of any age.

“I encourage all women to get a screening. Throughout my work on this bill, I have heard too many stories of young women in their 30s or 40s who were diagnosed with breast cancer that didn’t show up on a traditional mammogram due to dense breast tissue. Cancer does not wait until you are 50 or 55; neither should screenings,” she said. “Early detection is our most effective defense and I look forward to working with doctors, advocates and hospitals to educate women about the newly available screenings.”

IMage of 3-D tomosynthesis mammography machine (Stock Image)

State Representative Jean Schmidt is serving her first term in the Ohio House of Representatives. She represents the 65th house district, which includes northwestern Clermont County.

For more information, contact Rep. Schmidt’s office at (614) 466-8134 or rep65@ohiohouse.gov.