Increase in Breast Reconstruction with Enactment of Women’s Health Law
In 1998, an exciting development in federal law enacted the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act, which mandated insurance coverage for breast reconstruction surgery. Prior to this enactment, certain health insurance coverage, such as Medicare or Medicaid, covered costs associated with mastectomy, but were not required to cover reconstructive efforts. This was obviously devastating to many women that suffered emotional and physical trauma associated with their cancer diagnosis.
Since then, researchers have reviewed the records of over 165,000 breast cancer patients between 2000 and 2009. Data showed sharp increases in reconstructive surgery among Medicaid and Medicare patients during this time. While all groups of breast cancer women showed increases in breast reconstruction after mastectomy, the most significant findings were among Medicaid and Medicare patients. This may indicate that cost was a prohibitive factor in the decision not to undergo the procedure prior to enactment of the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act.
In addition to better insurance coverage and improved financial access, patients today are enjoying the benefits of improved overall procedure and outcome. Dramatic advances in scientific and medical technology have made this procedure more accessible than ever before with fewer side effects and an improved ability to monitor for continued remission or development of new breast cancer.
At the Center for Plastic Surgery, we believe all women should have equal access to reconstructive surgical procedures with exceptional results. We sincerely believe in supporting cosmetic intervention for breast cancer survivors. You have already shown immense physical and emotional strength in dealing your diagnosis of breast cancer. It would be our honor and pleasure to discuss breast reconstruction options available to you. We work with a wide range of patients from all across the country and look forward to your visit. Please call for more information.