For two decades, advocates have tirelessly championed a cause close to the hearts of millions of women worldwide – the fight against uterine fibroids. This year marks a turning point. The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of 2023 aims to make a transformative impact, promising increased research, education, and awareness – all vital steps toward a brighter future for women with fibroids.
Let’s dive into the crucial details of this groundbreaking legislation, understanding why it’s more critical than ever for women who bear the weight of this condition on their shoulders. If enacted, the following items will affect all fibroids patients:
- Research Funding: The Act provides funding for research on uterine fibroids. This research will be expanded, intensified, and coordinated to gain a better understanding of fibroids and their impact. ($30 million authorized for each fiscal year from 2024 to 2028)
- Medicaid Coverage Research: The Act establishes a research database to collect data on services provided to individuals diagnosed with uterine fibroids under Medicaid and children’s health plans. This aims to assess the frequency of such services, helping policymakers make informed decisions. (The secretary of Health & Human services will be required to report this information to Congress within two years of enactment)
- Public Education: A public education program will be developed to raise awareness about uterine fibroids. This will focus on the incidence and prevalence of fibroids among all individuals, especially minority individuals who are at an elevated risk, and inform patients about available treatment options, including non-hysterectomy treatments.
- Health Care Provider Information: The Act promotes evidence-based care for individuals with fibroids. It encourages collaboration with health care-related specialty societies and health systems to educate health care providers about available treatment options, especially non-hysterectomy options, and includes an emphasis on minority individuals at elevated risk.
- Focus on Minority Individuals: The Act recognizes that people of color, particularly Black women, have a higher likelihood of developing uterine fibroids. Efforts are directed toward addressing this health disparity and ensuring minority individuals receive appropriate care.
By providing funding for research, education, and improving healthcare provider knowledge, the Act seeks to advance the understanding and treatment of uterine fibroids and improve the quality of life of women with fibroids.
That’s why it’s imperative to contact your Member of Congress today and tell them to support H.R. 4572, because their constituents, and all women with fibroids, desperately need better options.