WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) today introduced the CLINCIAL TREATMENT Act. This bipartisan legislation would ensure Medicaid programs cover routine care costs for individuals participating in clinical trials for serious or life-threatening conditions.
“Nearly 20 percent of Americans receive their health coverage through Medicaid,” said Senator Cardin. “These women, men and children should not be shut out of potentially life-saving clinical trials because the out-of-pocket costs put their participation out of reach. Our bipartisan legislation will help enhance the quality of ground-breaking clinical trials and address health disparities by widening the base of traditionally under-represented participants, including racial and ethnic minorities, while increasing access to high-quality, high-value care.”
“Clinical trials bring new hope to families battling devastating diagnoses and diseases,” said Senator Burr. “These trials not only help advance medical research, but can also give some folks the opportunity to access promising potential treatments when all other options have been exhausted. Unfortunately, Americans who receive their coverage through Medicaid are too often discouraged from participating in clinical trials because they risk being denied coverage of their standard health care. This legislation reflects the good work already underway in North Carolina, and allows Medicaid to keep pace with and participate in the next generation of advancements. Our bill ensures more Americans can access scientific breakthroughs and improves the diversity of trials in the development process.”
Currently, Medicaid is not federally required to cover the routine costs for clinical trial participants, which includes doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, lab tests, imaging, and drugs to manage side effects. Only 15 states, including North Carolina and Maryland, require their Medicaid programs to cover these types of costs, leaving more than 38 million Americans on Medicaid without coverage to participate in a clinical trial.
The CLINICAL TREATMENT Act would require Medicaid programs across the nation to cover routine care costs for individuals participating in clinical trials.
The House of Representatives introduced companion legislation, H.R. 913, on January 30, 2019, which has been endorsed by 86 organizations.