19th March 04:44
Oregon mandates rebuilt breast for cancer victims (cancer mastectomy)
Oregon mandates rebuilt breast for cancer victims
PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Insurance companies would have to cover
reconstructive surgery for patients that lose breasts to cancer under an Oregon
bill that passed the state Senate Friday.
Building on federal law requiring insurers to cover mastectomies, the Oregon
law, which previously passed the state's House of Representatives, streamlines
the approval process for mastectomy treatment and mandates coverage for all
phases of breast reconstruction.
"Some insurance companies were not agreeing with the course of treatment for
the patient," said state Sen. Vicki Walker, who sponsored the bill.
"Many insurance companies require a separate authorization process for every
stage of the procedure," she said, adding that many insurers were refusing to
authorize a final phase that adds a nipple to the newly constructed breast.
The bill, which still requires the governor's signature, would align Oregon
with several other states that have passed similar legislation since the
Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act was passed by Congress in 1998, setting
guidelines for breast reconstruction coverage.
08/16/03 23:10 ET