AAOMS applauds introduction of CARES Act

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) applauds U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) on introducing S. 1235, the Senate companion bill to H.R. 1339, the Children's Access to Reconstructive Evaluation and Surgery (CARES) Act.

The bill would require insurance plans that provide surgical benefits, including those under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, to cover reconstructive surgeries for children with congenital deformities, including craniofacial anomalies, according to the AAOMS. The CARES Act would set an important national standard for ensuring that families who have insurance coverage receive the necessary care for their children with these conditions, the organization noted.

Each year, approximately one in 600 children is born with some type of craniofacial abnormality that may result in distortion of facial tissue, the oral cavity, and the skull, according to the AAOMS. However, thousands of children currently covered under health insurance plans are unable to receive corrective surgery because insurers deem the procedures "cosmetic" and deny the claims.

The AAOMS said it appreciates Sen. Landrieu's leadership in advocating that corrective surgery for craniofacial anomalies is medically necessary and should be defined as reconstructive surgery rather than cosmetic surgery.

"No child, particularly those born with congenital deformities, should be denied life-altering surgery," Sen. Landrieu said in a press release. "This legislation will put an end to the practice that has misclassified thousands of legitimate healthcare claims and will ultimately provide children the coverage for the surgical procedures they need to grow and thrive. The passage of this bill is long overdue, and I look forward to building bipartisan support for its approval."

AAOMS members have worked closely with Sen. Landrieu on the CARES Act since she was the lead sponsor of the bill during the 110th Congress.

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