Jamie's Blog

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why some mastectomy patients are denied the best treatment available. HINT: Follow the money.

Research shows that only 25% of patients facing mastectomy are informed about the option of breast reconstruction. In my work in the breast cancer community I have met women whose own reconstructive surgeons did not tell them about these state-of-the-art procedures, even though they lived metropolitan areas where several surgeons did perform them. Since the DIEP procedure has been done in the US for over 15 years and is well known among reconstructive surgeons, what conclusion can we draw except that these doctors choose to keep their patients in the dark in order to keep them in their practices.

The problem doesn't end with physican turf wars: the following article from CancerCompass reveals that "...some insurance companies will discourage a patient from pursuing such advanced options because cheaper alternatives only may be provided by their 'in-network' providers."
Hand me my smelling salts!

The complete original cited in CancerCompass has been deactivated: DIEP And SIEA Microsurgery Flaps -- The Gold Standards In Breast Reconstruction: And Why Insurance Must Cover Them

1 comment:

  1. Since I was first diagnosed in 1997 I have said "Everything in life comes down to money,even someones life!" I was told that I had to have a tumor removed from under my arm,and I could not wait one week for my insurance coverage to start because the tumor was life threatening. I had to raise $600 to book the O.R. As I was being pushed down the hall to the O.R.,I was stopped not once,but twice and asked if I had talked to the accounting department(meaning did I pay my $600 fee)! So my doctor wouldn't risk my life by waiting,but if I hadn't paid the O.R. fee, the hospital would have!