The Radiological Society of Connecticut has recognized State Rep. Themis Klarides for her advocacy of patients and legislation that will encourage women to have life-saving breast cancer screenings.
The award is timely as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The radiologists gave Klarides their “Patient Hero” award at their semi-annual meeting in New Haven on September 13.
Klarides was the lead sponsor of House Bill 5208 this past session that will enable women to have their annual breast exam using the latest technology without having to pay a deductible or co-pay.
“A 3-D mammogram is vital to detecting breast cancer early,” said State Rep. Themis Klarides. “No women should be denied a 3-D mammogram because they can’t afford to pay a deductible or co-pay. I am proud my colleagues in the legislature recognize the importance of a 3-D mammogram and supported this legislation that will help save hundreds of lives.”
The technology, called Breast Tomosynthesis, is a three-dimensional mammogram which enables the radiologist to better determine if small cancers are present in the breast. The test has reduced by 40 percent patient callbacks for an additional test due to the uncertainty of images.
“This legislation is critical for our ability to make sure that patients continue to have access to these needed mammography tests. We thank Representative Klarides for her leadership on the issue,” said Alan Kaye, MD, president of the RSC.
House Bill 5208 includes Breast Tomosynthesis in the definition of a mammogram so that a patient no longer will be charged a deductible or co-pay for the annual screening.
The RSC thanked Klarides for sponsoring the bill and for showing a “significant knowledge” of healthcare policy using that knowledge to benefit patients.
Klarides serves as the leader of the 71-member House Republican Caucus.
The legislation passed both the House and Senate this year and was signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as Public Act 18-159. It is effective January 1, 2019.