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Representative Greg Harris, Senator Jacqueline Collins, Senator Iris Martinez and Fellow State Legislators to Join Susan G. Komen for the Cure in Announcing Groundbreaking Legislation to Reduce Breast Cancer Disparities; Will Hold Press Conference Friday
Date:2/27/2008

CHICAGO, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago), State Senator Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization, and breast cancer survivors and advocates will host a press conference on Friday, Feb. 29 at 11 a.m. in the Blue Room (15th Floor) of the Thompson Center in Chicago to speak about groundbreaking new legislation to reduce breast cancer disparity rates and outcomes for low income women, minority women and immigrants.

House Bill 5192 comprehensively enacts recommendations of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, a respected group of medical and community health experts which studied shocking breast cancer mortality rates among local minority women.

Based on a 2007 study of disparities in detection and treatment of breast cancer by the Sinai Urban Health Institute, the breast cancer mortality rate for black women in Chicago was 68% higher than that of white women in 2003. This was an increase from a 49% disparity rate for the years 1999 through 2003. Breast cancer is also the most common cancer among Latinas. Studies show Latinas have lower screening rates and are much more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage when the disease is more deadly.

House Bill 5192 would begin to close the gap on these disparities by increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates for mammography and screenings to incentivize provider participation, provide bonus payments to Medicaid providers using best practice screening and treatments, and create a patient reminder system for female Medicaid recipients to encourage regular screening. It would also obligate insurers to cover pain medication for women undergoing breast cancer treatment and reduce the financial barriers to allow for easier access to screenings. House Bill 5192 would also enact a Patient Navigator pilot program that would determine if treatment ou
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SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure
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