Thursday, February 21, 2008

Senate Committee passes Steffanie's Law

Note to readers: Passage of Steffanie's Law is very good news for Nick's Law.

Associated Press and

A state Senate committee has passed a bill requiring insurance companies to pay for routine care of patients involved in clinical trials.

Steffanie's Law was passed on Thursday in the Health and Human Resources Committee five to two, after the committee heard from Monty Collings, the father of the 18-year-old for whom the bill was named.

Steffanie Collings, a young brain cancer patient, was hit with $400,000 in medical bills after a private insurance carrier stopped paying her routine healthcare costs. After Steffanie went through a bone marrow procedure in a clinical trial, Collings' insurance company refused to pay routine bills for doctor's visits, blood tests and other procedures needed in her fight against cancer.

Sen. Andrew Rice, the bill's author, said it was a matter of fairness. He said Medicaid and Medicare patients can go through clinical trials and still have their routine care compensated.

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