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Legislation aimed at improving health outcomes in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Legislation was introduced to increase access to biomarker testing, which can help determine the best treatment plan for a specific patient. Despite its benefits, access to biomarker testing has not kept pace with the rate of innovation due to several barriers, including lack of coverage by private health insurance and Medicaid programs, which this legislation would fix.

“As an Oncologist and Hematologist, I strongly believe in the value of biomarker testing,” said Dr. Doug Flora, executive medical director of Oncology Services and The Robert and Dell Ann Sathe Endowed chair in Oncology at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “Access to these tests remains a barrier for many patients. I am passionate about making biomarker testing more accessible so all patients can benefit from the precision medicine approach and receive the best possible care.”

“Biomarker testing is probably the most important factor in my quality and longevity. When I was diagnosed with lung cancer as someone who has never smoked, biomarker testing was suggested to help choose the most effective treatment plan,” said Leah Phillips, a cancer survivor who lives in Oldham County. “The testing revealed that I have a genetically driven cancer with a target therapy drug, which has allowed me to live a near normal life for the past three years and hopefully for many more. Without appropriate and consistent insurance coverage, cancer patients may be unable to afford the biomarker testing they need to save their lives. Biomarker testing is the wave of the future, and all patients need consistent coverage and access for better outcomes.”

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