I would like to announce the publication of an Interim Final Rule (IFR) which amends the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions (List) found in the WTC Health Program regulations, and results in four specific cancers becoming eligible for coverage as WTC-related health conditions.
First, the table of medical codes (ICD codes) (Table 1) has been removed from the regulation to avoid confusion about which cancers are covered by the WTC Health Program. Second, the definition of childhood cancer has been revised to clarify that a childhood cancer is any cancer diagnosed in a person less than 20 years of age.
The most important change revises the definition of “rare cancers.” Based on a review of the leading authorities on rare cancer, “rare cancers” are now defined as any cancer that has an incidence rate of less than 15 cases per 100,000 persons per year. In addition, the notice announces that the Administrator now regards brain and pancreatic cancers as eligible for consideration as “rare cancers.” As a result of the revised definition of “rare cancers” and the Administrator’s policy decision, four specific cancers are now eligible for coverage as WTC-related health conditions. The four specific cancers are malignant neoplasms of the brain, cervix uteri (invasive cervical cancer), pancreas, and testis. No type of cancer currently covered by the WTC Health Program is removed by the Interim Final Rule published today.
The IFR is effective February 18, 2014. It is available for public review and comment for 60 days until April 21, 2014. If you wish to read the IFR, please visit: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-03370. The new regulatory text will be found at the end of the document. Please follow the instructions in the draft to submit your comments.
If you are a current member of the WTC Health Program, you should contact your current Clinical Center of Excellence (CCE) or the Nationwide Provider Network (NPN) to determine if your cancer may be certified as a WTC-related health condition. If you do not know which CCE you attend, please contact the WTC Health Program call center at 1-888-982-4748.
If you are not currently enrolled in the WTC Health Program and believe you may be eligible for the Program, please visit our website for information about the application process, www.cdc.gov/wtc. You can also contact the WTC Health Program call center at 1-888-982-4748 for information on how to apply.
This list only includes rare cancers certified as of the date listed and is not a comprehensive list of all of the types of cancers that are considered rare. You should discuss whether a specific type of cancer meets the rare cancer criteria with your WTC Health Program physician at your Clinical Center of Excellence or Nationwide Provider Network.