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Governor Culver Signs Legislation to Help Cancer Patients in Clinical Trials

Press Release

Location: Des Moines, IA

Governor Chet Culver yesterday signed a bill into law that will help Iowans who are enrolled in clinical trials for cancer treatments. House File 2075, which passed unanimously out of the House and Senate, provides clarity and consistency of insurance coverage, and will help patients and families better plan their course of treatment.

The law requires insurers to continue to cover routine patient care costs incurred for cancer treatment in an approved cancer clinical trial to the same extent coverage is provided for treating any other injury, disease, or condition under that policy. The law also sets requirements outlining the scope of the costs to be covered, as well as the definition of an approved cancer trial.

The legislation will help cancer patients who stand to benefit from clinical trials by providing more treatment opportunities, and will allow patients to make decisions related to their health in consultation with their doctors and families with certainty as to what is covered. By clarifying insurers' liabilities for coverage, it also limits the likelihood of disputes between patients and insurance companies.

"This bill is an example of what we can do together when we put partisan politics aside and work for the benefit of Iowans," Governor Culver said. "Nearly every Iowa family will be touched by cancer at some point. I am determined Iowa will lead the way when it comes to providing the best possible treatment, and I want Iowa to attract world-class researchers who will pursue new cures here. This legislation represents one more step toward both of those important goals and moving Iowa forward."

Governor Culver also signed the following bills into law yesterday:

Senate File 2076: Makes miscellaneous changes to certain economic development programs and staggers the terms served by members of the Economic Development Board. It also allows Iowans attending out-of-state colleges to participate in the targeted industry internship program.

Senate File 2117: Allows licensed optometrists to prescribe and supply a new type of contact lens called "pharmaceutical-delivering contact lenses" that is expected to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this summer. The new contact lens corrects vision and medicates the eye.

Senate File 2146: Prohibits a motor vehicle manufacturer, distributor, or importer from reducing the amount of compensation for or disallowing a claim for warranty parts, repairs, or service performed by a motor vehicle dealer on the grounds that the claim was not filed fewer than 60 days after the work underlying the claim was completed.

Senate File 2149: Clarifies that a simple misdemeanor traffic offense is not a crime for the purposes of the background checks required for employment in a health care facility (135C.33). The bill also sets forth the process for a potential student in a nurse aid training program to have a background check prior to beginning the program. This ensures that a person won't spend money on education and then not be able to work, and ensures that individuals completing clinical hours in health care facilities have been approved to work in the environment. This process is modeled after the process currently used in nurse education programs.

House File 2319: Allows the Department of Public Safety to regulate the storage of flammable and combustible liquids. This bill deletes references to "above ground petroleum storage tanks" and instead uses the term "aboveground flammable and combustible liquids storage tanks." This bill also extends the number of years that fees for the alarm system installer certification program can be carried over to match the number of years that the certification is good for. Accordingly, this bill allows such repayment receipts that remain unencumbered or unobligated at the close of a fiscal year to be retained by the department for succeeding fiscal years. Besides requiring an owner or operator of aboveground flammable or combustible liquid storage tanks to notify the state fire marshal of their existence prior to October 1, 2010, the bill also requires an owner or operator of a tank that is taken out of operation on or before July 1, 2010, to notify the state fire marshal of the existence of the tank by October 1, 2010.

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