The National Osteoporosis Foundation in Washington, D.C. has recently informed us as Medicare providers that Medicare will now cover the expense of bone density testing, commonly known as BMD tests. This is a major breakthrough in that osteoporosis really, in most cases, is a preventable disease through early diagnosis and treatment. It is often difficult to know without the BMD test which patients are at risk for osteoporosis and would benefit from the information obtained by a bone mineral density test.
By adding this new benefit Medicare makes it much easier for practitioners to order a BMD test for at risk patients or those who are already suffering from osteoporosis.
Medicare will cover FDA approved Bone Mineral Density technologies for the following five groups of individuals:
Estrogen deficient women at clinical risk for osteoporosis, usually those women in the post menopause age group.
Patients with vertebral abnormalities.
Patients receiving or planning to receive long term Cortisone (steroid) therapy.
Patients with primary hyperparathyroidism.
Patients being monitored to asses the response or effect of an approved osteoporosis drug therapy.
This new Medicare benefit will help diagnose people who already have osteoporosis as well as identify those who are most at risk of developing osteoporosis in the future.