In Oklahoma, a similar bill has already passed the House of Representatives, unanimously, and is awaiting vote in the state Senate. Specifically, the Oklahoma legislation would prohibit insurers from requiring a higher standard of evidence for implementation of proton therapy than other cancer therapies, according to this article in The Edmond Sun.
In Tennessee, the proposed bill would provide for equal insurance coverage of proton therapy treatments as is currently available for traditional radiation. Proton therapy has been clinically proven effective in treatment of a variety of cancers including prostate, lung, liver, breast and head and neck cancers.
Although historically thought to cost more than traditional radiation therapy, newer methods allow this special form of radiation to be delivered in concentrated doses so that most patients can receive effective treatment of proton therapy for the same cost and over a shorter period of time.
Medicare covers proton therapy, but in most states private insurers do not. Tennessee and Oklahoma could break new ground by requiring insurers to allow patients and their doctors the option of choosing the best treatment for their disease.
Please visit the Tennessee Cancer Patient Coalition website. We ask that you contact your legislator and pledge support for the Cancer Patient Choice Act. Also, please join our Facebook community and share our message with your friends and family.