Dr. Kyle Keeney

Op-Ed: House Bill 180 Brings New Hope to Kentuckians by Expanding Access to Biomarker Testing

Opinion Editorial by: Dr. Kyle Keeney, founder of the Kentucky Access to Care Coalition and the President and CEO of the Kentucky Life Sciences Council.

Technology is reshaping medicine in ways that were almost unimaginable a few short years ago. Now, medical innovation is bringing new hope to Kentuckians who suffer from cancer and other conditions that drastically impact their health and quality of life.

Our challenge is to make sure access to innovation keeps up with the evolution of treatment options. Innovations in early detection are changing how we detect and treat cancer and other chronic conditions, allowing physicians to diagnose many diseases and genetic warning signs years earlier than previously possible, meaning more precise treatment plans can be developed for the patient. 

Fortunately, the Kentucky House passed House Bill 180, sponsored by Rep. Kim Moser, to ensure Kentuckians have access to biomarker testing. Expanding access to biomarker testing is critical because it can help match patients with the right treatment at the right time. Studies have already shown that this innovative new form of diagnostic testing can improve outcomes for those suffering from many different types of cancer as well as other conditions, including arthritis, autoimmune conditions and many rare diseases.

Biomarker testing is an essential diagnostic tool and critical component of what’s commonly referred to as precision medicine. Biomarker results help doctors develop a targeted, individualized precision care plan. It is critical for our legislators to support House Bill 180 and expand coverage of comprehensive biomarker testing. These lifesaving tests will ensure all Kentuckians have access to the best treatment options for their condition.

House Bill 180 would change the way Kentuckians approach a cancer or chronic disease diagnosis, providing new hope in the form of innovative treatments that lead to increased survivorship. By expanding and prioritizing access to early detection, lawmakers can address gaps in care and help improve the overall health of our state.

Biomarker testing is increasingly becoming a standard of care in oncology. And this will soon be the case for many other disease states as well. Health insurance plans must keep up with the innovations in testing and treatment that will help reduce long-term health care costs and save lives. Improving access to biomarker testing is a simple way for legislators in Frankfort to show patients that their health and quality of life are a priority.

Improving access to precision medicine through biomarker testing will help prevent late-stage diagnoses and better allow Kentuckians to access the treatment they need before it’s too late. House Bill 180 will improve health outcomes, lower long-term healthcare costs and most importantly save lives.

Breakthrough innovations in the practice of medicine are allowing us to detect, diagnose and treat cancers and other chronic diseases that once left people without hope for a bright future. But they only work if patients have access to them. Let’s make 2023 the year we give Kentuckians the new hope they deserve and bring House Bill 180 across the finish line. 

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Dr. Kyle Keeney is the founder of the Kentucky Access to Care Coalition and the President and CEO of the Kentucky Life Sciences Council.


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