29 April 2013
First Government Recommendation from Cosmetic Surgery Review to be Implemented: Insurance for Patients
London – 29 April, 2013 – In the wake of the findings from the Government enquiry into cosmetic surgery published in the last week, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (www.baaps.org.uk ) is first to announce the implementation of one of the report’s major recommendations: for patients to be protected through insurance. The only aesthetic surgical society to conduct a yearly audit of the procedures performed by its members, the BAAPS – which represents the vast majority of NHS plastic surgeons in private practice – was able to work with the world’s leading specialist insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, to create a policy that will safeguard all patients of surgeons who are part of the Association.
The ‘Aesthetic Surgery Commitment’ or ‘ASC’ policy (www.asurgerycommitment.com) is groundbreaking in that not only does it cover corrective treatment of all the most common complications of surgery (such as infection or bleeding) but also – a world first – capsular contracture, an abnormal reaction of the body to breast implants. Up to one in ten women who’ve undergone breast augmentation may develop this condition, but historically would have had to pay for corrective surgery themselves.
According to consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Rajiv Grover;
“In line with Sir Bruce Keogh’s recommendations for more safeguards in the aesthetic surgery sector, we are pleased to launch a truly innovative insurance package that will further protect our patients. No procedure is risk-free and ASC covers all common complications, so people undergoing surgery with BAAPS members can enjoy peace of mind that they will be looked after, in the unlikely event of any problems.”
All the most popular surgical procedures are included, including tummy tucks, eyelid surgery, arm lifts, breast augmentation, ‘moob’ reduction (gynaecomastia), liposuction, facelifts, pinning back ears and fat grafting, among others. The more common complications such as infection, haematoma (bleeding), seroma (build-up of fluid), nerve injury and others are all covered. Many of the conditions can develop a month or longer after the procedure is undertaken – and in the case of capsular contracture, it could be several months - so the policy automatically activates on the twenty-ninth day after the op and remains live for two years, as during that initial period hospitals would cover any complications.
According to consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS President Douglas McGeorge, who led the project;
“At the BAAPS we are in the unique position of having at our disposal over ten years of reliable data, so we’ve been able to work with the world’s leading specialist insurers to design a solid product that will protect patients from being left out of pocket should a complication occur after their hospital cover runs out. We’re delighted to be able to cover the costs of corrective surgery even for conditions such as capsular contracture, which has never been done before.”
It is the surgeon rather than the patient who is billed, but pricing starts as little as £50 for procedures up to the value of £2,000 and cover on a sliding scale is available for surgery worth up to £12,000. Higher cover can be quoted for.
According to consultant plastic surgeon (and also) former President of the BAAPS Nigel Mercer, who worked on developing the policy;
“We’re proud to have been working over the last year to help design a tailor-made policy based on comprehensive data and sound statistical analysis. Not only does this product directly address the issues highlighted by the Government’s review but it is also ready to be fully implemented. During these turbulent times in our sector, patients deserve a formal commitment.”
The BAAPS (www.baaps.org.uk ), based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the web site, or by contacting their advice line at 020 7405 2234. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information.
BAAPS is also on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BAAPSMedia and Facebook: www.facebook.com/BritishAssociationofAestheticPlasticSurgeons
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