Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 28, 20172min390

State Sen. Angela Williams knows that early detection can make a life-or-death difference in battling breast cancer, and she believes a better understanding of the individual risk factors — like breast-tissue density — faced by women could save more lives.

That’s why the Denver Democrat’s Senate Bill 142, which passed the Senate today with overwhelming, bipartisan support, would require facilities providing mammograms to notify women in writing if dense breast tissue is detected in their scans.

“Women have come to me whose breast cancer could have been detected at an earlier stage if they had known they had dense breasts and went in for further screening,” Williams said in a press statement released by the Senate Democrats’ communications office. “This bill will help prevent situations like that in the future. The aim of the bill is also to educate people about this health risk that many women don’t even know exists.”

Here’s more from the press release on Williams’s bill, which now goes to the state House:

Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography to detect cancer. Without a requirement that women with dense breast tissue receive notification, women are at times not given the information necessary to decide whether to undergo further testing and are left vulnerable to possible breast cancer diagnoses. Dense breast tissue is also a risk factor in itself for breast cancer; high breast density is a greater risk factor than having two first degree relatives with breast cancer.

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 23, 20174min450

Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce — a key stakeholder in efforts to forge compromise legislation on construction-liability reform — issued a statement today via Chamber President Kelly Brough opposing one of the pending proposals on the issue, Senate Bill 157:

“Although Senate Bill 157 contains some meaningful reforms to construction defect laws, we’re concerned that it would take away from local control and the critical gap so many municipalities have filled to ensure their citizens have access to affordable workforce housing. We are committed to working with the bill sponsors and the entire legislature to advance meaningful construction defects reform and will continue to advocate for consumer protections, such as informing all owners of a possible construction defect lawsuit, and providing alternatives to costly, long battles in court.”

SB 157 is sponsored by Sen. Angela Williams, D-Denver, and Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora. It is one of several pending proposals to rein in liability for defective construction in the homebuilding industry in hopes of encouraging development of more affordable housing.

The chamber also released its latest stands, pro and con, on some other measures now before the General Assembly:

The Chamber supports:

The Chamber opposes:

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 14, 20172min440

There’s a bill for that. The bipartisan Senate Bill 88 would require a health plan to give notice whenever it bumps a physician or other health care provider out of its network of covered providers. Among its other provisions, the measure also would require health plans to develop and disclose criteria they use to include, exclude and dump doctors and other providers from their networks.

SB 88 — sponsored in the upper chamber by state Sens. Angela Williams, D-Denver, and Chris Holbert, R-Parker —  just passed the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee on a 5-2 vote and now heads to the Appropriations Committee.

Here’s a press statement released on the bill by the Senate GOP:

SB-88…will help improve health network transparency by requiring that certain networks offer notice as to how and why such changes are made. At present, most patients and doctors impacted by such “de-selection” decisions are left completely in the dark.

“We believe that patients and care providers who are forced to part ways when a health network narrows are at least owed advance notification of those changes from the insurer, along with an explanation of why such changes are necessary,” said Holbert. “Because as it stands now, the lack of answers when a network narrows or a doctor is de-selected from such a network just adds insult to injury for the patients and care providers involved.”