FEDERAL | HHS Launches BCPEA Implementation on BRA Day 2016
Following passage of the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act (BCPEA) in December 2015, ASPS has approached the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about assisting as the department implemented the law. On Wednesday, HHS launched the #ChoicetoRebuild campaign, the department's first step towards implementing the BCPEA. The launch of this campaign coincides with national Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day 2016.
"We're excited that the Department of Health and Human Services is implementing the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act," said ASPS president Debra Johnson, MD. "ASPS worked for years to pass the legislation and has been at the ready since the bill's passage to assist in implementation any way we can. We applaud HHS for making this important new policy a reality."
As part of the #ChoicetoRebuild educational outreach, HHS, and several other agencies, including the Office of Women's Health, have incorporated a fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute about breast reconstruction on each of their respective websites. The campaign also included robust social media outreach featuring tweets, graphics, Twitter chats, and Facebook live events in English and Spanish. Outreach to older audiences included information about the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act and breast reconstruction on the department's toll free call center (1-877-696-6775).
A top legislative priority for ASPS, the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act, which was signed by President Obama in December of 2015, requires HHS to plan and implement an education campaign to inform breast cancer patients of the availability and coverage of breast reconstruction, prostheses and other options. The educational materials designed by the department are intended to inform women that breast reconstruction is possible at the time of breast cancer surgery, that it may be delayed until after other treatments, or that they may choose not to have reconstruction and instead opt for prostheses or breast forms.