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American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports insurance coverage for reconstructive surgery

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Approximately 7% of American children are born with pediatric deformities and congenital defects such as birthmarks, cleft lip, cleft palate, absent external ears and other facial deformities. Today reconstructive surgery can help such children. But recent survey of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS) indicates that insurance companies often refuse to give insurance coverage for these surgical procedures claiming them to be cosmetic and therefore not necessary. However, the American Medical Association (AMA) defines cosmetic surgery as being performed to reshape normal structures of the body to improve the patient's appearance while reconstructive surgery as being performed on abnormal structures caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease.

That's why recently Rep. Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.) has reintroduced the Treatment of Children's Deformities Act, (H.R.49), endorsed by the Academy. The main idea of the Act is to prohibit insurers from discriminating against children born with deformities. All the children have the right to face the world with a normal appearance.

For  more information about this legislation, contact Elaine Holland in the Washington AAP Office at (800)336-5475.



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21/January/2002 dc