Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Women on Long Island who don’t have insurance or who are underinsured may be able to take advantage of free mammograms at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Commack. The Center has contracted with the New York State Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Western Suffolk County to provide breast cancer screening at no cost to patients who are uninsured or underinsured and meet certain eligibility criteria.
“Individuals with no health insurance are more likely to skip medical care for cost reasons, compared with those who are continuously insured,” said Maureen Killackey, MD, Deputy Physician-in-Chief and Medical Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Regional Care Network. “We are committed to providing potentially lifesaving mammograms to women living on Long Island and to removing financial obstacles so that eligible women can take advantage of this vital program.”
Memorial Sloan Kettering Commack is one of a total of 36 healthcare providers — including health centers, hospitals, radiology facilities, and laboratories — to participate in the New York State CSP of Western Suffolk County this year. Funding from this program allowed contracted providers to perform free breast, cervical, and/or colorectal cancer screening services for a total 1,533 individuals — including 1,478 mammograms – during the last contracted year that ended on March 31, 2012.
The Cancer Services Program offers free mammography services to uninsured and underinsured women who are age 50 and over. Women under age 50 are encouraged to contact the CSP to determine eligibility. In cases where an individual has an abnormal result from a screening test, CSP directly links the individual with a patient navigator who offers free access to appropriate diagnostic studies (including imaging, biopsies, and pathology), case management and support services, and treatment (including medications).
Furthermore, individuals diagnosed and in need of treatment for breast cancer may be eligible for the Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program, which provides full coverage as determined by the type of cancer being treated. If a participant in the CSP program is diagnosed with breast cancer, she would thus be able to receive outpatient treatment including breast surgery consultation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Commack. (Surgery is not provided at this facility).
The CSP of Western Suffolk County is operated and funded by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). The Cancer Services Program is a statewide, comprehensive cancer screening program that provides breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening services for eligible men and women. The program reimburses community-based providers to coordinate screening services in every county and borough in New York State. Each year, the partnerships screen tens of thousands of women for breast and cervical cancer and men and women for colorectal cancer.
Women interested in learning more about the screening program and whether they are eligible to participate should call the CSP at 866-442-CANCER (2262) or visit the NYSDOH website.