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OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – A bill that would require insurance companies to cover diagnostic mammograms is one step closer to becoming Oklahoma law.

The Senate approved House Bill 3504 on Wednesday, with a 38-4 vote on the floor.

House Bill 3504 requires a diagnostic mammogram be performed when an abnormality in the breast has been detected,” said Sen. Brenda Stanley, R-District 42, one of the bill’s authors.

Sen. Stanley said not all insurance companies cover diagnostic mammograms and some women cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs. However, diagnostic mammograms can be the lifesaving screening for many.

“We know for a fact that early detection saves lives.  Only 16 percent of women undergoing mammograms are directed to undergo a diagnostic follow-up exam, but that information can literally mean the difference between life and death,” said Sen. Stanley. “Furthermore, the more advanced a cancer is, the more invasive and expensive the treatment, so this will actually save money in the long run.”

If HB 3504 is passed into law, Oklahoma would join Texas and Arkansas, both having already passed similar laws.

“We are so pleased to have the overwhelming support of the House and the Senate in the effort to fully cover diagnostic mammograms.  Early detection is the key to saving lives, and this legislation removes a barrier to that,” said Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-District 79, a House author of HB 3504. “I am hopeful that this legislation continues to find success and ultimately its way to the governor’s desk. Women’s health outcomes in our state will immediately and directly benefit.”