McAuliffe’s Lifesaving Healthcare Testing Bills Now Law

Springfield, IL… Two pieces of legislation from State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) that will help to ensure the health and safety of Illinois families were signed in to law on Friday.

Over the past decade Illinois law has added new diseases, like Krabbe’s disease, to the newborn screening panel, a state-mandated public health program designed to catch certain genetic, metabolic, and congenital disorders in newborn babies. House Bill 4745 is a response to the State’s slow moving efforts to begin implementing the new testing. Last year, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) testified before the House Health Care Availability and Access Committee that the nearly two year procurement process for new equipment is partly to blame for the delays. HB 4745 amends Illinois’ procurement law so that it no longer applies to contracts for services, information technology purchases, commodities, and equipment to support the delivery of timely newborn screening services provided by the IDPH.

“Early detection can greatly improve health outcomes, especially in these cases,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “No child should die because bureaucratic red tape prevented their parents from having all the information they need when they are born.”

Just as early detection is critical with newborn illnesses, the same is true for cancer. Unfortunately, a mammogram does not always yield accurate breast cancer results in women with dense breast tissue. Rep. McAuliffe previously passed legislation to provide that insurance must cover an advanced screenings, such as an ultrasound, for women who have dense breast tissue. House Bill 4392 will serve as an educational enhancement to that mandate. It requires mammography providers to notify women who have dense breast tissue and inform them of the implications so that they can go to a doctor and discuss what supplemental tests and breast imaging tools that may be necessary for a proper diagnosis.

“Statistics say that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which is why this bill to ensure women are properly and accurately tested is so important,” said Rep. McAuliffe. “Thank you to the women, particularly the breast cancer survivors, who came down to Springfield to testify on this bill and helped to push it in to law.”

HB 4745 and HB 4392 both passed out of the House and Senate unanimously. Both measures were sponsored in the Senate by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago).