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Failure by Medicare Bureaucrats

Yet another failure by Medicare Bureacrats

pros-the-sis (noun): a device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body. 

Medicare provides health coverage for prosthetics (artificial limbs and body parts) when need is indicated by the patient’s physician.  Makes perfect sense.  Further, Medicare coverage provides for a custom-fit prosthetic - arms, legs, ears, hands, eyes - in each and every case – except for one body part.  Custom breast prosthesis are not covered by Medicare.  In case you don’t know, these prosthesis are often needed for women who have undergone surgical treatment for breast cancer. Why would Medicare policy-makers allow for customized prothesis for all body parts except for the breast?  Why is this the only prosthetic where they limit coverage to a generic, off-the-shelf form that doesn’t match the contour of the chest cavity, the color of the skin or the appropriate size?  You know the answer to that as well as I do.  The only non-covered custom prosthesis is one only needed exclusively by women.  hmmmmm.    

Customized prosthetics allow optimal value and utility to the patient, they get the patient’s body back closest to the natural body part that is missing, they provide functionality, dignity and quality of life.  One in every eight women may develop breast cancer during their lifetime.  They deserve quality healthcare, choices and equity.  Unfortunately, the bureaucrats at CMS (Medicare) have chosen to implement a blatantly sexist policy on custom breast prosthesis, and too few of our elected officials care enough to do anything about this absurdity.  Please ask those running for or holding federal office what they intend to do about this ridiculous Medicare policy.


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