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Issue Background

Increasing Access to Osteoporosis Testing

Please send an email to your federal lawmakers asking them to cosponsor H.R. 3517 and S.1943 and help America’s patients avoid unnecessary fractures through the early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis detected by DXA scans. 

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ASRT believes that dual energy x-ray absorptiometry scans are an important tool in diagnosing osteoporosis in patients. Debilitating, serious fractures can be prevented in men and women through early detection and treatment of osteoporosis.  United States House Resolution 3517 and Senate Bill 1943, to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve access to, and utilization of, bone mass measurement benefits under part B of the Medicare program by establishing a minimum payment amount under such part for bone mass measurement has been introduced in Congress. H.R. 3517, introduced by Rep. John Larson of Connecticut was introduced on May 25, 2021, and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees. S. 1943 was introduced by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine on May 27, 2021, and has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.  H.R. 3517 and S. 1943 set a floor for Medicare reimbursement for DXA procedures, increasing patient access to the procedure by ensuring a reimbursement rate of no less than $98 per scan.

Radiologic technologists reduce these debilitating fractures with effective DXA testing, leading to diagnosis and treatment. After a decade of increased osteoporosis testing rates, the percentage of people tested for osteoporosis has declined significantly since 2009 following a dramatic decline in the reimbursement for the test. Previous Medicare payment cuts for DXA scans has wiped out prevention efforts resulting in fewer patients being tested and fewer providers offering DXA testing. By setting a floor for DXA funding, we hope to reverse this dangerous trend.

DXA scans are an important tool used to detect osteoporosis in patients. Osteoporosis is debilitating, deadly and costly, yet it remains under-recognized, under-diagnosed and under-treated.