DXA Bill In Jeopardy...We Need Your Help!

Pam Flores @phflores Health Guide
  • If you haven't been following the news on Congresses 2006 and 2010 proposed cut backs on DXA scans read further and act now!

    Several years ago Congress authored a bill that cut the amount Medicare would pay for the cost of having a DXA scan by 50 percent, which means Medicare pays $72.00 towards the total of approximately $134.00. As of 2006, patient access through DXA testing was threatened due to the increase in copay for all Medicare recipients. Read the following effects of this cutback.

    "DXA is a preventive service that saves money, $1.145 billion, [in] 5 years due to fracture prevention. By 2010, 60 percent cut to DXA, forces virtually all physicians to discontinue DXA testing in their offices where 2/3 of DXAs are performed (Andrew Laster MD, FACR, CCD Vice President and Public Policy Co-Chair ISCD)."

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    "DXA is an underutilized service with less than 12% of eligible Medicare beneficiaries tested annually. Medicare cuts will exacerbate already low testing rates and undermine prevention efforts, particularly in rural and underserved areas," Dr. Andrew Laster explains.

    But there is GOOD news, Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) authored a bill that would restore DXA reimbursements to the pre-cutback level of $140.00; the cost of DXA scans are approximately $134.00 per scan. This bill is (S.769 Medicare Fracture Prevention and Osteoporosis Testing Act of 2009). Also in the House, Representative Shelley Berkley (D-1st-NV) and Representative Michael Burgess (R-26th-TX) "have introduced companion legislation (H.R. 1894) with over 60 original co-sponsors." But they need your help to pass this bill and keep the pre-cutback figures in place.

    Medicare is the largest insurer in our country and influences many other private insurers to follow suit with cutbacks. Since we're at a crossroads with the economy and health care in general, we need to keep in place the necessary funding for testing we currently have, without taking any backwards steps that will have a tremendous affect on most that need access to this very important screening tool. We also don't want the private insurance companies to implement cuts for osteoporosis testing at a time when it would be so easy to do so. This is where your help is paramount, and it only takes a couple minutes.

    Please go to the following link, at the International Society of Clinical Densitometry, to fill out an e-mail that will be sent to your Representative and Congress persons regarding your concerns about this important matter and its approval. Prewritten e-mails are available to make this process fast, to protect the future of our citizen's bone health.

Published On: April 10, 2009