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    Dunn's Provision to Increase Reimbursement for Preventative Health Care for Women Included in Chairman's Mark


    October 21, 1999
    (Washington, D.C.)

    Today U.S. Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (8th Dist.--Wash.) released the following statement after U.S. Rep. Bill Archer (7th Dist.--Texas), Chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, included Dunn's amendment to increase reimbursement rates for preventative health care for women. The amendment is part of the Medicare Balanced Budget Refinement Act, H.R. 3075, considered by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

    Dunn's amendment would increase the pap smear reimbursement rate from $7.15 to $14.60 and expand the program to cover automated pap smear test systems. The last time the rate increased was more than ten years ago; the current $7.15 reimbursement has not kept up with the cost of service.

    "This is an issue of providing women with access to preventative health services. Since the introduction of pap smears in the United States, the death rate from cervical cancer has decreased by more than 70 percent. This test is widely regarded as one of the most successful cancer-screening services available. Increasing the reimbursement rate will help more women better afford this essential examination.

    "My amendment also addresses access to innovation. Medicare has been slow to incorporate new technologies already approved for use in the United States. New technologies already available in the market are more effective in identifying abnormal pap smear readings and reducing the chance of a false reading. Increasing the reimbursement rate will ensure that women receive the preventative care they need," Dunn continued.

    "Covering and reimbursing new technologies will increase the availability of cost-effective treatments that provide earlier detection. This will help save lives and provide hope to the 15,000 women who are annually touched by cervical cancer."



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