New law to provide coverage for uterine fibroid treatment



Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wikinson, left, and Sen. Sandra Cano, right, hold their bills signed by Gov. Daniel McKee, seated. Standing behind them is Dr. Theresa Caridi, division director of vascular and interventional radiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a specialist in the treatment of uterine fibroids.


STATE HOUSE — A new law sponsored by Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson and Sen. Sandra Cano will provide for health coverage of uterine fibroid treatments.

The bill (2022-H 7561, 2022-S 3035), which Gov. Daniel McKee recently signed into law after its passage by the General Assembly June 24, will provide health care coverage for laparoscopic removal of uterine fibroids, including intraoperative ultrasound guidance and monitoring and radiofrequency ablation.

Uterine fibroids are a noncancerous growth that appear in the uterus usually during childbearing years. Treatment options include hysterectomy, embolization (radiation) and hormone therapy. 

“In Rhode Island, a hysterectomy costs $5,000 to $13,700 and is covered by insurance,” said Representative Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick).  “But a hysterectomy is extremely invasive, painful and although patients are generally released after two to three days, full recovery is typically six to eight weeks. At least 39 states, including Massachusetts, cover a less invasive and less expensive procedure, laparoscopic hysterectomy, to remove fibroids. I would like to see Rhode Island women covered for this as well.”

Said Senator Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket), “Women in Rhode Island deserve high-quality health care, and they deserve the benefit of the latest medical technology that improves their safety, comfort and recovery. This legislation will ensure that they have access to a better procedure that will improve their health and their lives.”