publication date: Jul. 12, 2019

Medicaid should pay for patients to enroll in clinical trials, coalition tells Congress

By Claire Dietz

A coalition of 86 organizations is urging Congress to pass the Clinical Treatment Act, a bill introduced in January that would guarantee coverage of the routine care costs of clinical trial participation for Medicaid patients with a life-threatening condition.

The bill, H.R. 913, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

“Clinical trials have tremendous potential to help patients with life-threatening illnesses, and for patients with cancer, clinical trials often offer the best available treatment option,” Howard A. Burris, president of American Society of Clinical Oncology, said in a statement. “It is imperative that every patient, regardless of how they are insured, have access to clinical trials.”

On July 10, the coalition—including ASCO, Friends of Cancer Research, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network—organized a “Day of Action” to lobby Congress.

“Lack of participation in clinical trials from the Medicaid population means these patients are being excluded from potentially life-saving trials and are not reflected in the outcome of the clinical research,” the coalition wrote in a Feb. 15 letter that endorses the legislation. “Increased access to clinical trial participation for Medicaid enrollees helps ensure medical research results more accurately capture and reflect the populations of this country.”

The full list of signatories to the letter is posted here.

Nearly 20% of Americans receive their health insurance coverage through Medicaid. However, unlike Medicare and private and commercial payers, Medicaid is the only major payer that is not … Continue reading Medicaid should pay for patients to enroll in clinical trials, coalition tells Congress

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