Advocacy

FORCE advocates for families facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in areas such as access to care, research funding, insurance, and privacy.

Advocacy > Issues > Comments on Draft Research Plan for BRCA Testing Submitted

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Newsflash

6/1/2018
FORCE staff are attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago.

5/9/18
We joined 80 patient advocacy, medical, and industry orgs in urging Congress to enact legislation to modernize FDA oversight of clinical laboratory diagnostics. Read letter...

5/8/2018
FORCE, along with over 100 other organizations, is advocating for continued funding of DoD research programs. Read our letters to Senate and House leaders.

4/17/18
FORCE and over 100 patient and professional health orgs reached out to Congressional leaders to oppose expansion of short-term health insurance plans. Read letter...

4/12/18
FDA finalizes guidances to accelerate development of reliable, beneficial next generation sequencing-based tests. Read press release...

4/9/2018
FORCE joined other organizations in urging Utah to clarify and protect coverage of breast reconstruction after cancer for its Medicaid recipients. Read more...

Comments on Draft Research Plan for BRCA Testing Submitted

Genetic Testing & Counseling

Overview

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine which reviews of and develops recommendations on the effectiveness of a broad range of preventive services. The current USPSTF guidelines for Risk Assessment, Genetic Counseling, and Genetic Testing for BRCA-Related Cancer in Women were released in December 2013.

USPSTF guidelines are utilized by health insurers to guide coverage decisions on specific preventive services. Additionally, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), any preventive service receiving a USPSTF rating of “A” or “B” must be covered by most health plans with no copay or cost-sharing. As such, these guidelines impact access to care and insurance coverage of services for members of the hereditary cancer community.

Task Force guidelines are typically reviewed and updated as needed every five years. The USPSTF seeks input on its research plan prior to undertaking this assessment.

FORCE reviewed the draft research plan and submitted comments in April 2017. The draft research plan is focused on "women without preexisting breast or ovarian cancer whose BRCA mutation carrier status is unknown." We are concerned that women who have been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, and men diagnosed with breast cancer, are absent from the research plan. There is strong evidence that BRCA genetic testing is a preventive measure, even for those already diagnosed with cancer. Learn more by reading about the May 2015 Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) clarification on this issue, and by reviewing our recent comments.  

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