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General Laws

Section 4K. The commissioner shall establish, promote, and maintain a public information program regarding diethylstilbestrol, hereinafter referred to as DES. Such program shall be conducted throughout the commonwealth and shall include, but not be limited to, an effort to reach persons or the offspring of persons who have been exposed to DES in order to encourage such persons to seek medical care for the prevention or treatment of any malignant conditions resulting from such exposure. Such program shall emphasize the need for examinations and the need to remain informed about additional developments concerning DES.

Said commissioner shall designate and may enter into contracts with providers of health care for the purpose of establishing regional screening programs for women who were exposed to DES during pregnancy and their offspring who were exposed prenatally. In selecting such provider, said commissioner shall consider such provider’s compliance with state and federal standards, such provider’s location in relation to geographical distribution of persons exposed to DES, and the capacity of such provider to properly screen for breast, vaginal and cervical cancer, vaginal adenosis, undescended testes, infertility, and any other malignancies and changes resulting from exposure to DES.

Each such contract shall be upon such terms and conditions as said commissioner determines; provided, however, that expenses incurred shall be reimbursed by the commonwealth after applying against the total cost of screening and diagnosis the amounts received from third party payers less any fee charged each person receiving such services where said commissioner has determined a fee scale based on ability to pay.

Each such provider which enters into such contract shall conduct a training program, in conjunction with the department, for purposes of instructing physicians, physician assistants, and nurses within the respective health systems area in the detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases in women who were exposed to DES during pregnancy and their offspring who were exposed prenatally.

The said commissioner may request, and shall receive, from any department, division, board, bureau, commission, or agency of the state or of any political subdivision thereof such cooperation and data as will enable him to properly carry out his activities hereunder. Said commissioner may also enter into any contract for services, as he deems necessary, with a private agency upon such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate to carry out the provisions of this section.

The department shall make an annual report to the legislature of its findings and recommendations concerning the effectiveness, impact and benefits derived from such special programs. Such report shall be filed with the clerk of the senate on or before the first day of February and shall contain evaluations of such special programs, and any recommended legislation.

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