WellPoint announced it will offer 48-hour minimum hospital stays for patients recovering from breast cancer surgery starting July 1, and pledged to implement other provisions of legislation now before Congress.
WellPoint to offer minimum hospital stays
The Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), seeks to end the practice of so-called “drive-thru mastectomies” by making sure women have adequate hospital recovery time after surgery. The bill also requires clear explanation of benefits to insurance policyholders with breast cancer.
WellPoint said the vast majority of its 33 million members already have these benefits, but it is seeking uniformity across states and the insurance industry.
“Women recovering from breast cancer surgery, in consultation with their physicians, will decide whether hospitalization for 48 hours is required,” said Sam Nussbaum, chief medical officer of Indianapolis-based WellPoint, in a written statement. “We are committed to making medical coverage decisions for women with breast cancer that are in accord with the latest scientific evidence and clinical research.”
DeLauro praised WellPoint for the decision and urged other insurers to follow suit.
In recent months, Wellpoint has come under fire for allegedly rescinding coverage of women with breast cancer diagnoses. Wellpoint denied the accusations.
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