Alerts & News

Biomarker Access: Update and Action Alert

posted: June 20, 2023

Earlier this year, New York State introduced legislation which requires Medicaid and private health plans to cover medically necessary biomarker tests recommended by healthcare providers. This legislation, S1196/A1673, aims to eliminate financial barriers that may prevent patients from accessing essential biomarker testing, thereby improving timely diagnoses and personalized treatment options. NYSSP sent letters to both chambers of the Legislature in support of this bill.

The bill passed the Legislature and is currently awaiting the governor’s signature. Please take a moment to petition Governor Hocul to support state of the art patient care in New York State.

Feel free to copy the letter below and personalize it as you wish.

Re: Support for S 1196/A 1673 (Biomarker Testing Coverage)

Dear Governor Hochul,

The New York State Society of Pathologists (NYSSPATH), with the collaboration of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), strongly supports S 1196/ A 1673, requiring comprehensive state-regulated insurance plan and Medicaid biomarker testing coverage for diagnosis, treatment, appropriate management, or ongoing monitoring of a covered person’s disease or condition when supported by medical and scientific evidence.

The NYSSPATH and the CAP believe biomarker test coverage should be mandated when such testing is medically necessary for clinically relevant diagnostic purposes, and/or treatment, supported by medical and scientific evidence as delineated in the bill.

Pathologists, as leaders in clinical laboratory medicine, routinely supervise, conduct, and recommend biomarker testing to diagnose cancer, and other diseases, inform optimal treatment, and improve health outcomes for patients.

Importantly, as the result of recent advances in medical science, biomarker testing is now the diagnostic standard of care for many of our patients who require targeted therapies based upon treatable mutations present in certain medical conditions, including cancer. It is well-documented that the optimal efficacy of these treatments can save or prolong the lives of our patients, thereby reducing health care costs and needless patient suffering.

We strongly support the public policy intention of S 1196/ A 1673 to ensure patients have timely and equitable access to medically necessary biomarker testing.

Thank you for your consideration and leadership on this issue.