Senate removes insurance barriers for cancer treatment

From Senator Bill Hansell

Senate Bill 2 will provide more access to proton beam therapy

SALEM, Ore. – The Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would give cancer patients more access and options with their treatment. SB 2A removes some barriers to access proton beam therapy for prostate cancer patients. It passed out of the Senate on a 29-1 vote, with no authentic opposition.

Proton beam therapy is a non-invasive treatment that targets cancer and leaves healthy tissues intact. It also does not give patients debilitating side effects like other cancer treatments.

“I have personally benefitted from this treatment, but it required jumping through too many insurance hoops,” said Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena), chief sponsor of the legislation. “If an Oregonian and their doctor decide proton beam therapy is the best treatment option, this bill will make it easier to access.  A big thank you to Senate President Courtney for helping this legislation get across the finish line and also to Representative Rachel Prusak, the Chair of the House Committee on Health Care, for guiding it through the House.”

Senator Hansell is a cancer survivor and has been cancer-free for 21 years because of proton beam therapy.

According to Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services, 18 of 42 proton beam prior authorization requests were denied. SB 2 aims to give the patient more access to proton beam therapy for prostate cancer.

The legislation will now go to the Governor for her signature.