ASCO has submitted written testimony to the Texas House Committee on Insurance supporting legislation that requires health benefit plans to provide coverage for fertility preservation services to patients who will receive a medically necessary treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation. The testimony from ASCO President Monica Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, was given to the committee in advance of its April 9 hearing on the bill, HB 2682. If passed, this would make Texas the seventh state to pass such a measure for patients with cancer.
ASCO believes fertility preservation coverage is a crucial step in improving the quality of care for patients with cancer. The Society advocates for coverage of embryo, oocyte, and sperm cryopreservation procedures for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer but who have not started cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, biotherapy, or radiation therapy treatment.
ASCO issued its first guideline on fertility preservation in 2006 and updated it last year. The guideline, “Fertility Preservation in Patients With Cancer,” includes suggestions that health care providers should:
- Discuss the possibility of infertility with patients receiving cancer treatments during their reproductive years or with parents/guardians of children as early as possible
- Be prepared to discuss fertility preservation options and/or to refer all potential patients to appropriate reproductive specialists
- Advise patients regarding potential threats to fertility as early as possible in the treatment process and document the discussion. This allows for the widest array of options for fertility preservation.
Communicate with your elected officials regarding proposed policies that may impact your ability to provide the highest quality cancer care for your patients through our ACT Network.