Osteoporosis is under-diagnosed in the Medicare population according to a recent CDC NHANES survey. DXA scans are the gold standard for osteoporosis diagnosis, yet in 2007, CMS began significantly reducing reimbursement for DXA scans. This reduced the number of physicians in private offices offering DXA. As a result, fewer women and men were scanned resulting in a decline in osteoporosis diagnosis. Without diagnosis, fewer patients received effective treatment for low bone mass, which is now being reflected in increased fracture risk. Hip fractures are particularly expensive for CMS and destructive for the patients, as many will never be independently mobile again and 20% of all hip fracture patients die within a year of the fracture.
Learn more by downloading this DXA Testing by the Numbers slide show showing a state-by-state breakdown of DXA testing numbers in the US.