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Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C.

Hospital Stay Urged for Mastectomies

November 15, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A managed-care trade group tried to defuse growing criticism and the threat of federal legislation by recommending that health plans allow an overnight hospital stay for women who have a breast removed for cancer. All 1,000 members of the American Assn. of Health Plans--which includes nearly all of the nation's HMOs--pledged to abide by the recommendation against requiring mastectomies to be performed as outpatient procedures, the organization announced. The move comes as new Medicare data shows more elderly women are having outpatient mastectomies, particularly in the South. A congresswoman said she will introduce legislation in January to require a 48-hour hospital stay for any mastectomy patient who wants one.

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