COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)- A bill at the Ohio Statehouse is working on giving women more options when they are being screened for breast cancer.

For women with dense breast tissue, it can be difficult to see a tumor using a normal mammogram, but insurance providers don’t always cover the additional screening sometimes needed.

“Mammograms are the best screening tests but they’re not perfect,” said Dr. Mark Cripe, Breast Surgeon at OhioHealth.

House Bill 371 could give women more options. The bill would:

  • Revises the law governing health insurance and Medicaid coverage of screening mammography.
  • Requires health insurers and the Medicaid program to cover supplemental breast cancer screening if certain conditions are met.
  • Revises the language a mammography facility must use when notifying a mammography patient in writing of the presence of dense breast tissue.

“If you and your caregiver, doctor feel that you need to get an MRI, you get the MRI without having to fight the insurance company for it,” said Rep. Jean Schmidt, (R) Loveland.

Rep. Schmidt, a co-sponsor of the bipartisan bill, has seen her friend’s breast cancer missed by a mammogram.

“She got breast cancer and it’s because she had dense breasts and it had been missed on a mammogram and had she had an MRI she would have known about it much sooner,” said Rep. Schmidt.

Dr. Cripe says it’s always helpful if they can discover cancer early.

“Then they have more treatment options and a better outcome,” said Dr. Cripe.

House Bill 371 passed unanimously out of committee and is expected on the House Floor next week. Rep. Schmidt says she would like to see the bill passed by Christmas.