Early detection breast and cervical cancer screening program — Medical advisory committee.
(1) The legislature finds that Washington state has the highest incidence of breast cancer in the nation. Despite this, mortality rates from breast cancer have declined due largely to early screening and detection. Invasive cervical cancer is the most preventable type of cancer. The Pap test, used to detect early signs of this disease, has been called "medicine's most successful screening test." Applied consistently, invasive cervical cancer could nearly be eliminated. The legislature further finds that increasing access to breast and cervical cancer screening is critical to reducing incidence and mortality rates, and eliminating the disparities of this disease in women in Washington state. Furthermore, the legislature finds there is a need for a permanent program providing early detection and screening to the women and families of Washington state.
It is the intent of the legislature to establish an early detection breast and cervical cancer screening program as a voluntary screening program directed at reducing mortalities through early detection to be offered to eligible women only as funds are available.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) "Eligible woman" means a woman who is age forty to sixty-four, and whose income is at or below two hundred fifty percent of the federal poverty level, as published annually by the federal department of health and human services. Priority enrollment shall be given to women as defined by the federal national breast and cervical cancer early detection program, under P.L. 101-354.
(b) "Approved providers" means those state-supported health providers, radiology facilities, and cytological laboratories that are recognized by the department as meeting the minimum program policies and procedures adopted by the department to qualify under the federal national breast and cervical cancer early detection program, and are designated as eligible for funding by the department.
(c) "Comprehensive" means a screening program that focuses on breast and cervical cancer screening as a preventive health measure, and includes diagnostic and case management services.
(3) The department of health is authorized to administer a state-supported early detection breast and cervical cancer screening program to assist eligible women with preventive health services. To the extent of available funding, eligible women may be enrolled in the early detection breast and cervical cancer screening program and additional eligible women may be enrolled to the extent that grants and contributions from community sources provide sufficient funds for expanding the program.
(4) Funds appropriated for the state program shall be used only to operate early detection breast and cervical cancer screening programs that have been approved by the department, or to increase access to existing state-approved programs, and shall not supplant federally supported breast and cervical cancer early detection programs.
(5) Enrollment in the early detection breast and cervical cancer screening program shall not result in expenditures that exceed the amount that has been appropriated for the program in the operating budget. If it appears that continued enrollment will result in expenditures exceeding the appropriated level for a particular fiscal year, the department may freeze new enrollment in the program. Nothing in this section prevents the department from continuing enrollment in the program if there are adequate private or public funds in addition to those appropriated in the biennial budget to support the cost of such enrollment.
(6) The department shall establish a medical advisory committee composed of interested medical professionals and consumer liaisons with expertise in a variety of areas relevant to breast and cervical health to provide expert medical advice and guidance. The medical advisory committee shall address national, state, and local concerns regarding best practices in the field of early prevention and detection for breast and cervical cancer and assist the early detection breast and cervical cancer screening program in implementing program policy that follows the best practices of high quality health care for clinical, diagnostic, pathologic, radiological, and oncology services.
[2006 c 55 § 1.]