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ASPS Pushes HHS to Implement the BCPEA

Following the passage of the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act in December 2015, ASPS has focused its efforts on ensuring proper and timely implementation of the Act. In March, ASPS wrote to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Secretary Burwell to offer its assistance and expertise as the Department develops patient education materials.

The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to plan and implement an education campaign to inform breast cancer patients about the availability and coverage of breast reconstruction and other available alternatives post-mastectomy. Educational materials created by the Secretary of HHS will inform women of their right to breast reconstruction under federal law and provide women with information about when breast reconstruction or prostheses may be appropriate within their recovery plan. This campaign will support existing collateral on breast cancer awareness that already is created by the Office of Women's Health and the Office of Minority Health.

The signed law directs HHS to "consult with appropriate medical societies" related to breast cancer and breast reconstructive surgery as they develop this educational campaign. ASPS has a tremendous interest and a wealth of experience in creating the types of educational materials that will be needed to meet the requirements of the breast cancer patient education campaign through the organization's Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day Program. To demonstrate this expertise, ASPS provided the Department with patient-facing materials on breast reconstruction in hopes that HHS will consult with ASPS when creating their own collateral.

ASPS also has encouraged members of Congress to urge HHS to utilize the appropriate medical societies, including ASPS, and experts in this field as they build this educational campaign. ASPS will remain engaged as the organization's top federal legislative priority is implemented by HHS.