House OKs bill to ensure up-to-date dense breast notifications following mammograms


STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Kislak to ensure that women with dense breast tissue receive the most up-to-date notification following their mammograms.

The legislation (2024-H 7734A) eliminates parts of the current notification law, which spells out exactly the language that must be included in every letter sent to women after a mammogram determines they have dense breast tissue, telling them they may benefit from supplemental screenings because dense tissue makes it harder to detect cancer.

The bill changes the notification requirement to say that the notification should instead use the language mandated by the Federal Drug Administration National Reporting Standard for breast density.

“It’s important that all people get the proper screenings to detect cancer. For that reason, women with dense breast tissue should receive one consistent message about getting further screenings. The federal notification requirement is regularly updated and is based on current medical best practices. Adopting it as Rhode Island’s standard ensures that women are receiving the most current advice about what to do following a finding of dense breast tissue during their mammogram,” said Representative Kislak (D-Dist. 4, Providence).

The current language requirement took effect in 2014, and was last updated in 2021. Directing providers to follow the federal standard instead of mandating specific language will eliminate the risk that Rhode Island’s notification requirements will become outdated, as well as the need for continual changes to the law. It will also prevent confusion for people who may cross state lines for testing, if Rhode Island’s requirements differ from those in surrounding states.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where Sen. Bridget Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, South Kingstown) is sponsoring companion legislation (2024-S 2609).


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