Osteoporosis Testing Jeopardized

THe Medicare Fracture Prevention and Osteroporosis Testing Act of 2009 has been introduced by Congress. This has been done to reduce the burden osteoporosis delivers on the exchequer. The house version of the act was introduced by Shelly Berkley and Michael Burgess. Blanche Lincoln and Olympia Snowe introduced the Senate version.

Drastic cuts in Medicare reimbursement for the gold standard for osteoporosis diagnosis, DXA, are sought to be reduced by the DXA task force. The task force comprises of a number of organization. Bone density measurements detect osteoporosis. It is critical to detect this treatable condition as early as possible. 44 million Americans have low bone mass. It is often discovered after breaking bones and the cost of such injuries amounts to several billion dollars a year.
By ensuring access to bone density tests through Medicare, not only are costs saved but so are several lives. There has to be an awareness of osteoporosis and a proper way to maintain healthy bones. Because of low reimbursement levels for the tests unnecessary barriers to testing are created. Estimates suggest that only 1 in 5 patients who need testing are being tested.

Due to osteoporosis there are 2 mn fractures every year. The result is immobility, pain and a host of other health problems that are all preventable. Congress needs to pass legislation to make osteoporosis testing more accessible.

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