Attorney General Miyares Issues Opinion that Prevents Insurance Companies from Discriminating Against Proton Cancer Treatment 

RICHMOND, Va. –  Attorney General Jason Miyares today issued an official Attorney General’s Opinion, at the request of Delegate A.C. Cordoza, on proton radiation therapy and health insurance coverage. Specifically, the opinion clarifies that Virginia law does not allow insurance carriers who provide coverage for cancer therapy to deny coverage for proton radiation therapy based on a higher standard of clinical evidence than what is used by the insurance company in making coverage determinations for other forms of cancer radiation therapy.

Proton radiation therapy is a groundbreaking nonsurgical advanced radiation technology, and is clinically proven to precisely treat tumors with minimal side effects while protecting nearby healthy tissue. Proton radiation is a different form of radiation than x-rays with very different effects on the human body.  

However, prior authorizations and insurance denials are becoming increasingly significant barriers to this life-saving treatment.  

The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute is the largest standalone proton treatment center in the United States and has successfully helped more than 4,000 patients battle cancer. It was established in 2010 as a response to Hampton Roads’ high mortality rate of prostate and breast cancer. In addition, the Inova Department of Advanced Radiation Oncology and Proton Therapy, in Fairfax County, is the second proton therapy facility in Virginia. 

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