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Congress Moves to Protect Bone Health
Date:11/19/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congress took an important step toward protecting patient access to essential osteoporosis care with the introduction of H.R. 4206 "Medicare Fracture Prevention and Osteoporosis Testing Act of 2007," sponsored by Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-1st-NV). The bill calls for a reversal of drastic Medicare cuts to DXA (dual energy x- ray absorptiometry), the imaging procedure accepted as the gold standard for measuring bone mass to diagnosis osteoporosis. This legislation will build on Federal initiatives already in place to improve the detection and treatment of this common and debilitating disease.

In response to the introduction of this bill, a coalition including the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the largest osteoporosis patient advocacy group in the United States; the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists; the American College of Rheumatology; The Endocrine Society; the International Society for Clinical Densitometry issued the following joint statement:

"Ten years ago, Congress recognized the importance of diagnosing and

treating osteoporosis by enacting legislation that allowed for bone

mass measurements in all qualified Medicare beneficiaries. It is

estimated now that osteoporosis causes more than 2 million fractures

yearly with costs estimated at $18 billion. Numerous Federal

initiatives to improve on the low osteoporosis diagnosis rates are now

endangered because of recently enacted Medicare reimbursement cuts.

Congresswoman Berkley and the 41 co-sponsors to H.R. 4206 have

recognized that DXA is an important disease prevention tool. This

bill would ensure that the more than 44 million Americans affected by

osteoporosis and low bone mass have access to early diagnosis and

treatment to prevent debilitating fractures. A recent study by the

Lewin Group reveal
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SOURCE National Osteoporosis Foundation
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