Members of Congress recently introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 6836, the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, which would require Medicaid to cover the routine costs of care for patients with life threatening conditions who are enrolled in clinical trials. ASCO worked closely with Members of Congress to shape the legislation to address this gap in coverage for clinical trials.
Currently, Medicare and private and commercial payers are required to cover routine costs of care (like physician visits and laboratory tests). However, Medicaid is not federally required to cover these costs, and coverage varies significantly state by state.
Medicaid insures nearly one-fifth of the population of the United States – including a large portion of people from under-represented minority and ethnic groups who are not well represented in clinical trial enrollment. Lack of participation in clinical trials from the Medicaid population means these patients are excluded from potentially life-saving trials and are not reflected in the outcome of the clinical research.
Seventy-six organizations sent a letter to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fl-12) and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM-03) on November 26 offering support for the legislation and applauding their leadership in introducing the bill. HR 6836 was also one of the policy issues ASCO advocates raised with Members of Congress during the recent Advocacy Summit on Capitol Hill.
ASCO members should use the ACTNetwork to encourage their representatives in Congress to sign on as a cosponsor of the legislation.
Read a summary of the legislation and ASCO’s Policy Brief on Medicaid coverage for clinical trials.
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