Meet Breast Cancer Surgeon Kimberly Van Zee

Kimberly J. Van Zee, MD, FACS

Surgical Oncologist

Clinical Expertise

Breast Cancer

New Patient Appointments

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Accepted Insurance Providers

Dr. Van Zee accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.

Aetna

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Aetna HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Aetna does not include us in any of the plans you can purchase through the insurance exchanges or through Medicare. Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.

Blue Cross Blue Shield

In New York State

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (Wellpoint) of New York HMO, EPO, PPO, and POS plans, with the following exceptions:

  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering is not an in-network provider for Empire's Medicare Managed Care plan known as Mediblue).
  • The Empire Indemnity Plan provides limited coverage for our services.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

In New Jersey

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey plans for individuals, families, and small businesses. For example, the PPO plan is in-network with our Manhattan locations.

Horizon Blue Cross HMO is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations. It does not allow access to our Manhattan facilities.

Horizon Blue Cross PPO is in network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen, Monmouth and Manhattan locations.

OMNIA Plans: Tier I EPO based plan policy is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations and does not allow access to our Manhattan sites. Tier II EPO is only in-network with our Manhattan sites if it is a blue-card plan (there would be a suitcase logo indicating PPO on the front of the card).

Other plans may only be in-network at our Basking Ridge, Bergen or Monmouth locations.

Outside New York State and New Jersey

Some, but not all, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans outside of New York and New Jersey include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Contact your insurance to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

CIGNA

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with CIGNA's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. CIGNA does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.

  • If you are a New York State resident: Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.
  • If you live outside of New York State: Please ask your insurance if you have in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

EmblemHealth (including GHI, HIP, ConnectiCare, and Vytra)

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with EmblemHealth’s PPO, EPO, POS, and HMO plans as well as their Enhanced Care Prime Network, which supports Medicaid Managed Care and Child Health Plus and Medicare plans. Memorial Sloan Kettering is also in-network with the New York State Essential Emblem Health plan, which can be purchased on the insurance exchange. Emblem Health does not include us in any of its Medicare plans or in any of its Select Care network plans. You must bring a referral from your Emblem primary care doctor to your first appointment.

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus

Formerly known as Health Plus Amerigroup, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus is an in-network provider with Memorial Sloan Kettering. You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.

Health Insurance Exchanges

We understand that there may be many complexities involved with insurance coverage purchased through the health exchange network of the Affordable Care Act. We're here to help. If you have questions about how your care will be covered by an insurance provider, or need help navigating a change in coverage, please call us at 646-227-3378; if you are not a resident of New York, you can call us at 866-248-1274. Our team is here to listen to your concerns and assist you in any way we can. We want our care to be as accessible and affordable for as many people as possible.

HealthSmart

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with HealthSmart’s Accel, HSPC, and HPO networks.

Humana

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Humana.

Interlink Health Services

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Interlink Health Services.

Lifetrac

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Lifetrac.

MagnaCare

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for all MagnaCare health plans except those products you can buy through the insurance exchanges.

Medicaid

New York State Medicaid covers physician and hospital services at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Patients are responsible for co-payments.

We also have contractual relationships involving Medicaid Managed Care plans. MSK is an in-network provider with Medicaid NY Emblem Health (formerly known as HIP) and Medicaid NY Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus (formerly known as Amerigroup). You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.

Medicare

Hospital and physician services at Memorial Sloan Kettering are covered by standard Medicare insurance. You are responsible for co-insurance and deductible costs. 

In New York: Memorial Sloan Kettering’s New York locations are in-network with the Emblem Medicare Advantage Plans.

In New Jersey: Memorial Sloan Kettering’s  New Jersey locations in Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth are in-network with the Horizon Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan is not accepted for care provided at MSK’s New York locations.

If you are enrolled in any other Medicare Advantage plan, please contact your insurance carrier to determine your benefits and coverage at Memorial Sloan Kettering since your access may be limited.

Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Multiplan.

Multiple Insurance Plans

If you are covered by more than one insurance plan, you will want to determine your benefits from both plans. First, you need to determine which one is your primary insurance provider by contacting your employee benefits office or your insurance carriers. After you find out which is your primary insurance provider, you should then contact your insurance carrier to determine if you have access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

MVP

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some MVP plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

New York State Employee Health Insurance Plan (Empire Plan)

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for New York State employees who have enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services. If you have the Empire Plan, you should call Cancer Resources Services at 866-936-6002 to verify and enroll in this coverage.

Oscar

Memorial Sloan Kettering is in-network with Oscar's Circle Plus Network, a part of its Small Group Broad line that is offered only to select small business groups. Oscar does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider for any of its individual plans. Please confirm eligibility with your insurance carrier.

Other Coverage Options

We have agreements with several insurance companies that may provide additional coverage for cancer patients. These benefit programs include:

  • AXA Assistance USA
  • Beech Street
  • Integrated Health Plans
  • National Health Administrators
  • National Preferred Provider Network
  • UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services
  • United Resource Network
  • Veterans Choice Program
Oxford

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Oxford’s Freedom and Liberty plans as well as the Metro Plan (which is only offered to small business groups and no longer offered as individual plans). Please confirm with your insurance if you need a one-time referral. Note: Oxford's Medicare Managed Care plan — Secure Horizon — does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Oxford does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.

QualCare

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with QualCare's PPO and HMO/POS network.

Specialty Care Management

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Specialty Care Management.

TRICARE

Hospital and physician services at Memorial Sloan Kettering are covered by TRICARE. You are responsible for co-insurance and deductible costs.

UnitedHealthcare

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with UnitedHealthCare's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Please confirm with your insurance if a one-time referral is needed.

UnitedHealthCare's Medicare Managed Care plan does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider.

United does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by UnitedHealthcare.

World Trade Center Health Program

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with the World Trade Center Health Program.

Contact and Location

Find a Convenient Location

Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offers many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

See all locations

About Me

Education

MD, Harvard Medical School

Residencies

Surgery - New York Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College

Fellowships

Cornell University Medical College

Board Certifications

Surgery

I am a surgical oncologist with a practice dedicated exclusively to the treatment of breast cancer. For almost 20 years, I have used my skills to provide the highest quality surgical care to women with breast cancer. I spend two full days in the operating room each week, and I see outpatients in the new Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center.

Read more

My many years of education and training — including graduating summa cum laude from Pomona College, receiving my MD from Harvard Medical School, and completing my surgical training at Cornell University and Memorial Sloan Kettering — prepared me for the challenges of caring for women with breast cancer. I received the American Cancer Society’s Clinical Oncology Career Development award early in my career for my research. I have been honored for many years by being listed in “Top Doctors, NY Metro Area,”  “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer,” “New York Super Doctors,” and in New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors in New York.”

My research interests include exploring diagnostic and treatment options for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), in which cancer cells are confined within the ducts of the breast and have not invaded into the surrounding breast tissue outside of the ducts. The diagnosis of DCIS has increased exponentially over the past two decades. Yet, the recurrence rates for women with DCIS treated with breast-conserving surgery has not been as low as that of women with the more common invasive breast cancer.

In women with DCIS I found that women of younger ages are at higher risk for local recurrence. I also found that the volume of tissue removed from the breast and the number and distance of ducts containing DCIS from the margin of the resected tissue are related to chance of recurrence. I have examined the various factors that influence the risk of local recurrence after breast conserving surgery for DCIS, and created a risk prediction model, called a nomogram, to help clinicians and patients estimate the risk of recurrence.  This tool has been validated in at least two different populations to date, and will hopefully help clinicians and women weigh the various treatment options for DCIS.

Another area of special interest is sentinel lymph node biopsy. This is a method in which the breast tissue is “mapped” to identify one or a few nodes to which a woman’s breast cancer would first metastasize (spread). I developed a predictive tool called a breast cancer nomogram that calculates the likelihood of additional lymph node metastases in breast-cancer patients who have metastasis in a sentinel node. This helps patients and doctors make decisions about the pros and cons of axillary dissection (standard removal of most or all of the underarm lymph nodes).

This nomogram has been widely adopted and validated at dozens of institutions around the world. We also developed a second nomogram to help a woman with breast cancer predict the risk of having sentinel node metastases. This nomogram can help a woman understand her risk after she’s had a breast biopsy but before the results of the sentinel node biopsy are available.

My colleagues and I also investigated patients’ quality of life after breast surgery. In a prospective study that we conducted over several years, we compared the frequency of sensory changes and lymphedema (arm swelling) after sentinel node biopsy (removing a selected one or a few lymph nodes) to that of axillary dissection (conventional surgery to remove most or all of the lymph nodes under the arm).

In order to share information that we have learned about breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I have lectured extensively, both nationally and internationally, and authored many manuscripts on topics in breast cancer. You can view a listing of my publications in PubMed by clicking on the PubMed icon below.

Awards and Honors

  • Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2009-2018)

Colleagues

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

Clinical Trials

Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Search clinical trials

Research and Publications

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Van Zee’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

See all on PubMed