Why Pink Ribbon Plus?
Why Pink Ribbon Plus? Simply to create A SINGLE RESOURCE FOR BREAST CANCER PATIENTS who are seeking information about BREAST CARE PRODUCTS and want to obtain these speciality products from someone who understands the industry and their product needs.
As a Breast Care Educator for a Global Breast Care Manufacturer, I trained Professional Fitters about the nuances of selecting specific breast care products to match a patient’s fitting needs. We practice fittings on live survivor models, who share their breast cancer journey with the group and allow these ladies to ‘practice’ on them.
A dealer product training class includes breast care industry updates regarding trends and changes in insurance coverage. Also included is learning the critical documentation requirements similar to what a doctor documents in your medical chart.
A Fitter must attend classes to sit for a national exam and become Certified and Certified Fitters must also earn continuing education credits to maintain their Certification.
As the Daily Operation Manager of a high volume, hospital based, breast cancer boutique, I am familiar with all the manufacturers and what they offer breast cancer patients. The boutique I managed offered the full range of products including post-mastectomy, compression garments, wigs, skin care and gift items. It is beautiful, welcoming and non-medical in its engaging décor. As a nationally recognized breast cancer boutique, hospitals from all over the country would conduct site visits to Atlanta to visit the shop and understand its concept. I was very lucky to work in an environment with a caring staff and the opportunity to offer a wide range of products and services to women diagnosed with breast cancer.
As a Certified Mastectomy Fitter, I once had a patient burst into tears when she called her insurance provider about her benefits and the agent on the other end of the phone asked her ‘what is a mastectomy?’. Mary was a walk-in patient and we never had a chance to verify her benefits, which we did for our patients with appointments. So Mary made the call while waiting to be fit.
You need to understand how many bras and breast forms are covered, under your insurance plan, so you have realistic expectations when you arrive for a fitting. Every boutique wants you to know your benefits, but before you call your provider, I can help you understand the benefit ‘language’ and billing codes that will enable you to get through this call with as little frustration as possible!
Every Fitter has had experiences where a post-mastectomy patient comes in wearing a bra stuffed with a sock full of birdseed or other seed-like products, to try and simulate a lost breast or part of a breast. Make sure you are giving yourself the benefit of specialty products that your insurance may cover.
Often, it is only by chance or luck that a patient finds out they have benefits from Medicare or insurance, which covers a vast array of products that can change the way you look and feel about yourself. As a Professional Fitter, we have all had the hugs that mean we made a difference in that patient’s life–leaving with beautiful bras and a breast form that make her look and feel amazing!
As a Luxury Lingerie Stylist, I had a lovely, 60-ish year old woman walk in asking me for a nursing bra…for herself. She was very embarrassed and explained she was preparing to have breast cancer radiation seed therapy (Brachytherapy) and was told to find a nursing bra with ‘easy access’ to her site. Her next stop was a maternity store but, thankfully, I could refer her to a breast cancer boutique.
Can you imagine? I was so angry that an oncology team, associated with a highly regarded cancer institute, was completely unaware of specialty bras for this patient or that she had insurance benefits to cover their expense.
At that moment, Pink Ribbon Plus was born!