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Access to Osteoporosis Testing for Americans in Jeopardy
Date:4/3/2009

DXA Task Force Urges Congress to Pass Bill to Protect Patient Access

WASHINGTON, April 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to protect patient access to osteoporosis testing and reduce the physical and economic burden of osteoporosis for millions of Americans, Congress introduced the "Medicare Fracture Prevention and Osteoporosis Testing Act of 2009," (S. 769 and H.R. 1894). Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced the Senate version and Representatives Shelley Berkley (D-1st-NV) and Michael Burgess (R-26-TX) introduced the House version.

The DXA Task Force, comprised of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Rheumatology, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, International Society for Clinical Densitometry and The Endocrine Society urges Congress to pass this legislation to reverse the drastic cuts in Medicare reimbursement for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA), the imaging procedure accepted as the gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis.

Outside the hospital setting, Medicare reimbursement for DXA has been reduced to levels substantially below the cost to perform the procedure. As a result, many physicians and clinics around the country are discontinuing this necessary health service -- greatly limiting the public's access to the test and jeopardizing patients' quality of healthcare.

"Bone density measurements are vital tests that detect critical and treatable medical conditions, such as osteoporosis," Senator Blanche Lincoln said. "Approximately 44 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass. They may only discover that they have osteoporosis after falling and breaking a hip or other bones, injuries that cost billions of dollars each year. Ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries have access to bone density tes
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SOURCE National Osteoporosis Foundation
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