Aetna U.S. Healthcare Affirms Policy For Mastectomy Length Of Stay

BLUE BELL, PA, November 14, 1996 — (NYSE: AET) In light of recent attention paid to this issue, Aetna U.S. Healthcare today reiterated its long-standing policy of covering inpatient care for mastectomies and of not requiring that mastectomies be performed as outpatient procedures.

“It is our experience that mastectomies require a hospitalization,” said Dr. Arthur Leibowitz, chief medical officer of Aetna U.S. Healthcare. “In fact, Aetna U.S. Healthcare’s average length of stay for mastectomies is in excess of two days.”

Aetna U.S. Healthcare views breast cancer as a serious health issue, and has in place leading edge programs for early detection and treatment of breast cancer, as well as case management and second opinion programs to ensure patients are fully aware of their options for breast conserving or reconstructive surgery and psycho-social support services.

“Since these programs were established several years ago, we have seen an increase in the diagnosis of cancer in early stages, enabling intervention when treatment is more likely to be successful,” Dr. Leibowitz said. “We have also been successful in increasing the number of women who, once diagnosed with breast cancer, receive breast conserving therapy.”

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