Cancer Clinical Trials Study
Cancer Clinical Trials Study - House Bill 615
For some cancer patients in Montana, new and innovative treatments offered through clinical trials can be the best option to beat cancer. In addition to offering hope to patients, these trials advance the treatment of cancer with new knowledge that can benefit patients for years to come.
Researchers conducting the clinical trial pay for the new treatment, but not for routine care, which is left for insurance to pay. However, some insurance companies consider trials to be "experimental," with the possibility of increasing the costs of routine treatment that patients would receive even if they were not in the trial. Insurers consider claims from patients in clinical trials on a case-by-case basis, leading to confusion and uncertainty for patients and doctors alike.
More than 30 states have agreements or legislation in place that set up clear guidelines for what routine care insurance companies must cover during clinical trials. This helps remove the uncertainty for doctors and patients, allowing them to focus on fighting the disease instead of worrying about routine costs. In 2011, the Montana legislature responded to the testimony of Montanans who had to battle with insurance companies over clinical trials by passing House Bill 615, which gave the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance the authority to study this issue and recommend solutions.
Progress Made on the Study
Commissioner Lindeen set up an advisory council in September 2011 to help in this process. The Council met six times, took public comment, and produced a set of findings and recommendations to the commissioner in March of 2012. Commissioner Lindeen presented a report to the Children, Families, Health and Human Services interim committee of the legislature on March 19.
The committee will continue meeting during 2012 to review the implementation of its recommendations. If you are interested in learning more about the cancer clinical trials study bill, contact Amanda Roccabruna Eby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406.444.4613.