New coverage available for breast cancer patients due to Louisiana Medicaid expansion

New coverage available for breast cancer patients due to Louisiana Medicaid expansion

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Female cancer patient that have health benefits from Louisiana Medicaid will now be covered for breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy, as well as other new services.

The Louisiana Department of Health made the announcement Thursday, October 6.

"Louisiana has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the nation and we are committed to improving the physical and psychological outcomes for patients," said SreyRam Kuy, MD, Medicaid Chief Medical Officer, Louisiana Department of Health. "These new policies allow genetic testing for conditions that are hereditary so patients can make informed decisions about their plan of care; and now women who required a mastectomy as part of their treatment can now have reconstructive surgery on the opposite breast as well."

In addition, benefits will also include access to BRCA 1 and BRCAA 2 mutation testing. This is important for cancer-affected individuals as well as those who are at high-risk for breast or ovarian cancer.

"Through Medicaid expansion, women can now get preventive care such as check-ups, breast cancer screenings, and needed prescriptions," notes a press release from DHH. "Since Medicaid expansion, more than 315,000 have gained healthcare access. Among these newly insured, 1,000 woman have been able to undergo important screening and diagnostic breast imaging such as mammograms, MRI's and ultrasounds. Additionally, as a result of Medicaid expansion, 24 of those women have been able to begin treatment for breast cancer.

The CDC reports that breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. It is also the most common cancer among women in the United States.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For more information about the new benefits, click here.

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