Rep. Blum Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Help Breast Cancer Survivors
Congressman Rod Blum and his colleague, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), introduced H.R. 6980, the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act to expand Medicare coverage to include custom breast prosthesis as an option for women recovering from mastectomy surgery.
After a woman undergoes a mastectomy, Medicare will only cover breast reconstruction surgery and off-the-shelf breast prosthetics. Many women are not eligible to undergo an additional surgery for reconstruction and off-the-shelf prosthetics may not match a woman’s color or shape.
The Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act requires Medicare to provide coverage for custom fabricated breast prostheses for women who have undergone a mastectomy. The custom prosthesis is formed to match the contour of the woman’s chest wall and skin tone, and is more similar to her actual breasts than the off-the-shelf prosthesis. For women whom do not want reconstructive surgery, which is covered by Medicare, custom breast prostheses provide an additional, less costly alternative.
Rep. Blum commented, “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill with my colleague Democrat Rep. Chu to provide women with coverage of more options following a mastectomy. As breast cancer rates continue to rise and we work towards finding a cure, it is important to help the women who are fighting this battle and ensure they have options following this life-changing procedure.”