The bone health crisis

Our founder Sharon Baker recently wrote a column for the Rome News-Tribune about a change in reimbursement laws for osteoporosis screening that has added $40 million in annual Medicare costs in Georgia. She writes:

You may not be familiar with the impact of a law that was passed to reduce reimbursement for osteoporosis in 2006. It resulted in a reduced number of physicians in private offices offering osteoporosis screening. Reduced access resulted in fewer women and men being screened, diagnosed and treated for low bone mass. As a result fracture risk increased. Hip fractures are particularly expensive and debilitating for the patients. Many will never be independently mobile again and 20% of all hip fracture patients die within a year of the fracture. The terrible effect of this piece of legislation is finally being recognized. There is a new bill being introduced that could remedy the problem, save money and reduce the related human toll that results from broken bones. The solution requires the support of Georgia’s Congressional delegation, and Congress overall.

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