Post Mastectomy services are healthcare items and professional services required after a mastectomy due to breast cancer or trauma, prophylactic mastectomy or genetically induced developmental conditions of the breast. Post mastectomy external breast prostheses, pocket garments, lymphedema and post surgical compression garments are considered healthcare items because they are used to treat conditions that have resulted from diseases and treatment of diseases of the breast. These items and services should always be provided by Certified and Licensed healthcare professionals trained in post mastectomy care
Certification is given to an individual. Certification is not given by a breast form manufacturer upon completion of a basic fitter course.
Post Mastectomy Certification is conferred by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) as a Certified Fitter-mastectomy upon completion of specific education and examination requirements. A Certified Fitter-mastectomy, designated by the professionals credentials, CF-m, is a health care professional who is specifically educated and trained in the provision of breast prostheses and post-mastectomy services. ABC has a defined Scope of Practice document that details the specific capacity the certified individual can practice. Post Mastectomy Scope of Practice includes patient assessment, formulation of a treatment plan, implementation of the treatment plan, follow-up and practice management.
Licenses are given by a state agency to an individual. Many states are beginning to implement licensure for post mastectomy fitters. Licensure usually involves a Legislature declaring “that in order to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the people against the unauthorized, unqualified, and improper administration of care, it is necessary to provide for the licensing and regulation of persons offering [mastectomy and related] services to the public.”
Accreditation is given to a business. Accreditation of a post mastectomy business is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in order to be a supplier. Many state and private payors now also require accreditation to retain healthcare contracts. To attain accreditation, all a patient care facilities must comply with certain business requirements as well as the appropriate patient care standards. These standards create a minimum expectation for the physical environment and organizational function of post mastectomy care providers.
Becoming a Fitter
A MASTECTOMY FITTER is usually defined as: A health care professional who is specifically educated and trained in the provision of breast prostheses and post-mastectomy services, including patient assessment, formulation of a treatment plan, implementation of the treatment plan, and follow-up and practice management, which is consistent with nationally recognized programs.The ABC certified fitter-mastectomy is bound by the ABC Code of Professional Responsibility which is enforced by a Professional Discipline program.
The certified fitter-mastectomy is obligated to support and conform to professional responsibilities that promote and assure the overall welfare of the patient and the integrity of the profession. The time limited certification expires without compliance with the Mandatory Continuing Education program.
The post mastectomy fitter certifying organization, The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABCOP) has defined pre-certification education, pre-certification experience and continuing education requirements defined by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics.
The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) requires a fitter to meet the following education and experience requirements to apply for Certification:
Possess a high school diploma, GED or college degree
Successfully complete an ABC Approved mastectomy fitter educational course
Document a minimum of 250 hours of mastectomy fitting experience obtained either before or after completion of the fitter educational course.
Guidelines for 250 Hours of Mastectomy fitter Patient Care Experience
The 250 hours of patient care experience requirement serves as the clinical training portion of the mastectomy fitter education. It is optimal if the 250 hour requirement is fulfilled after completion of a ABC approved mastectomy fitter educational program; however candidates can use patient care experience gained prior to the completion of their education program.
The intent of the 250 hours of patient care experience is to provide the student with practical application of the knowledge, skills and competencies gained during their educational program. This is most optimally achieved if the experience takes place within an organization which primarily provides mastectomy patient care services. If a candidate’s experience takes place in a setting that is not primarily engaged in mastectomy patient care services, their experience will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine whether it meets the intent of the requirement.