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UMKC professor leads the charge for free diagnostic breast imaging

Patel worked with State Rep. Brenda Shields, R-Mo., and the Susan G. Komen organization to get the SB106 legislation drafted and passed.

Dr Patel / Image-Brandon Parigo/UMKC

An Indian-origin professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine (UMKC), played a leading role in bringing about a new law in Missouri that requires health insurance companies to pay the full cost of diagnostic breast imaging without charging patients a co-pay or deductible.

Gov. Mike Parson signed the SB106 law in July 2023, which will take effect on January 1, 2024. Amy Patel worked closely with Rep. Brenda Shields, R-Mo., and the Susan G. Komen organization to get the SB106 legislation drafted and passed, according to a university news release.  

An assistant professor of radiology at the UMKC, medical director of the Breast Care Center at Liberty Hospital, and a 2011 alumna of the UMKC School of Medicine, Patel said that if a patient required additional breast imaging testing such as a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI, it must be covered without co-pay or deductible.

Diagnostic breast imaging also encompasses patients with a lump or pain or those who have undergone prior surgeries for breast cancer which require follow-up mammograms for several years.

Patel revealed that she has had patients with breast cancer, who were recommended additional diagnostic breast imaging testing by doctors show up much later, due to the associated costs. By the time, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit and even other parts of the bodies at times. “I worked hard on this because I live and breathe this every day in clinical practice,” she said.

 

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