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Sen. Helming urges Hochul to approve biomarker testing bill

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  • Staff Report 

Senator Pam Helming has issued a call to Governor Hochul to sign a bill (S.1196-A) aimed at broadening the accessibility of biomarker testing for individuals battling illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and arthritis.

The bill, which Helming co-sponsored and which received approval from both the Senate and Assembly, mandates health insurance coverage for biomarker testing in the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of diseases, contingent upon the support of medical and scientific evidence.

The legislation advocates for precision medicine, allowing healthcare providers to tailor treatment plans more effectively, which could lead to enhanced life expectancy and patient outcomes. Senator Helming emphasizes the gap between advancements in biomarker testing and the coverage provided by insurance policies. The bill has garnered backing from a coalition of health organizations, including the American Cancer Society and The Michael J. Fox Foundation, along with over sixty medical advocacy groups throughout New York.

Highlighting the bill’s potential impact, Mary Zelazny, CEO of Finger Lakes Community Health, emphasized the significance of biomarker testing in offering precise medical solutions to rural and underserved communities, which could lead to improved health results and the saving of lives. The bill is positioned as a step toward equity in healthcare by ensuring access to the latest advancements in medical treatment.