Christie Signs New Jersey Breast Density Bill

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The Garden State becomes the 14th state that requires mammography providers to include breast density status in reports sent to patients.

Governor Chris Christie signed S-792/A-2022, a bill sponsored by New Jersey state legislators Loretta Weinberg, Troy Singleton, Daniel Benson, Gordon Johnson, Pamela Lampitt, Annette Quijano and Valerie Vainieri Huttle. It requires insurers to cover breast evaluations and other additional medically necessary testing under certain circumstances and requires certain mammogram reports to contain information on breast density.

According to patient advocacy group D.E.N.S.E. (Density Education National Survivors’ Effort), nearly half (48%) of U.S. women now live in states that require breast density notification. However, the group would like to see federal legislation passed and regulations written to cover women in all states.

Currently the federal Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act of 2013 (HR 3404) is under consideration in the House Energy and Commerce Congressional committee. In addition, at the regulatory level, a Breast Density Reporting amendment to the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) is scheduled to be issued as a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in 2014, noted D.E.N.S.E. in an email sent to media.

In New Jersey, the Breast Density Inform legislation was supported by radiologists but opposed by obstetricians noted NJ Spotlight, an online news service, earlier this year. The law will go into effect on May 1.

The other 13 states that have made informing patients about their breast density status are: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.