Make Me Whole Again Campaign

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Make Me Whole Again Campaign

Today, if a woman has mastectomy surgery, her options can be fairly limited. There are off-the-shelf prostheses. But, finding one with the right symmetry isn’t always possible – especially if she has an irregular chest wall following surgery. Reconstructive surgery is an option, too. Yet, not every woman is a good candidate for this.

These two options work wonders for many women, but there are some who would be much better served by a custom breast prosthesis. The problem is – Medicare doesn’t cover custom.

Essentially Women and our sister organization People for Quality Care – an advocacy group committed to helping beneficiaries voice their concerns to elected officials – decided it’s time for that to change. To get started, we spoke to women who told us their post-mastectomy stories. They described what they’d gone through, how they just want to move forward and feel like themselves again. And, we kept hearing the same phrase come up as a refrain – they wanted to feel whole again.

Every woman deserves that. They need to be able to choose the option that best fits their unique situation. That’s why Essentially Women and People for Quality Care have launched #MakeMeWholeAgain. Our aim – to introduce and ultimately pass legislation to allow Medicare to cover custom breast prostheses for women who have had a mastectomy.

Medicare already covers both reconstructive surgery and off-the-shelf prostheses. And, there is a billing code and fee schedule established to bill for custom breast prostheses. However, without legislation, Medicare cannot cover custom, and other payers tend to follow Medicare’s lead. This means, from a practical standpoint, the female breast is the only body part not covered as a custom replacement.

The most important part of the #MakeMeWholeAgain Campaign – is YOU!

Members of Congress need to hear directly from their constituents. We need you to get involved, be an advocate, and help bring needed change for women who deserve a choice. It’s the only way to reach the goal of passing legislation to allow coverage for custom breast prostheses.

In the coming weeks and months, we will roll out more information as it becomes available. To start, visit www.makemewholeagain.com. Here, you will find the latest information and be able to voice your support for the campaign and share your story.

We also encourage you to share this information with people you know to help spread the campaign. Share it with your patients, your employees, your friends, your family. Once we’ve succeeded in getting a bill introduced, we will update the website to make it easy to send an email to your member of Congress. Consider making a tablet or computer available for patients visiting your location, so they can take action right then and there.

In the meantime, watch for more information coming in the form of a toolkit to help you plan such things as community events, press releases and inviting lawmakers to your location to help gain support. And, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us at 800-988-4484.

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