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Colon Cancer Screening Laws Now Cover Half of U.S. Population
Date:3/11/2008

Five States Passed Laws in 2007, but 26 Still Earn D's or F's on

Legislation Report Card

WASHINGTON, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the first time, more than half of the U.S. population is now covered by state laws that require insurance providers to cover the cost of colon cancer screening tests, according to a new report card issued by a coalition of 11 leading public health groups. The enactment of new coverage laws in five states during 2007 also increased to 19 the number of states receiving an "A" grade on the 2008 Colorectal Cancer Legislation Report Card. Despite the gains, 26 states still have failing marks of "D" or "F."

Nebraska, New Mexico and Washington all joined the "A" list since last year's report card with new laws that require insurance carriers to pay for the full range of colon cancer screening tests, including colonoscopy. The report card gave states "A" grades based whether the laws embraced the screening guidelines of the American Cancer Society, American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) that were current at the time of evaluation in 2007. "A" level legislation also takes into account future advances, which is particularly crucial this year as screening guidelines have recently been updated for 2008.

Alaska, which enacted comprehensive legislation in 2006, was added to the "A" list in March 2007 shortly after enacting its new law. The state received an "A" grade in the 2007 report card, which was released shortly after the law became effective. A new Minnesota law requiring coverage for preventative screening raised that state's grade from "F" to "C." Minnesota missed out on a higher grade because the law is somewhat vague and does not specifically define which types of screening must be covered. (To view the report, visit htt
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SOURCE Colorectal Cancer Legislation Report Card
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