The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act (S. 931/H.R. 1984) continues to gain cosponsors in Congress, with 11 House cosponsors and 9 cosponsors in the Senate. The legislation would direct the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create an educational campaign to help women understand their options for reconstruction prior to mastectomy.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) are the sponsors in the Senate, with Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Representative Donna Christensen (D-VI) sponsoring the legislation in the House.
This legislation requires the HHS Secretary to develop information about women’s reconstruction options, in consultation with stakeholders, that can be distributed or have another qualified entity do so. Educational materials will inform women that breast reconstruction is possible at the time of their breast cancer surgery; that it can be delayed until after additional treatments; or that they may choose not to have breast reconstruction and be informed of other options including the availability of prostheses or breast forms. Any educational materials will also inform breast cancer patients that federal law mandates the coverage of breast reconstruction, even if the patient chooses to delay the reconstruction until after other treatments.
ASPS is ramping up advocacy efforts surrounding this bill on Capitol Hill.