| Press Releases

National Osteoporosis Foundation Announces Partnership with Atrium Health, Medstar Health, with support from Amgen and UCB, to Identify Patients at Highest Risk for Osteoporotic Fractures

ARLINGTON, VA (October 5, 2021) – The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) today announced a collaboration with Medstar Health in Maryland and Atrium Health in North Carolina to support a systems approach to creating a post-fracture care pathway to help curb the osteoporosis crisis and prevent patients from suffering debilitating broken bones. The initiative is supported by Amgen and UCB.

Osteoporosis is a serious chronic condition that weakens bones over time, making them thinner and more likely tobreak, but there are steps patients and healthcare providers can take to reduce fracture risk.[i],[ii],[iii],[iv] In the United States, more than 53 million people either have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.[v] The total annual expense of providing care for osteoporotic fractures among Medicare beneficiaries, including direct medical costs as well as indirect societal costs related to productivity losses and informal caregiving, has been estimated at $57 billion in 2018, with an expected increase to over $95 billion in 2040.[vi] Studies show that in the U.S. one in two women and up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.i

Despite 15 years of documented success of the Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) model of post-fracture care to identify patients at risk in order to prevent costly and potentially life-changing secondary fractures in patients with osteoporosis, relatively few hospitals have successfully implemented this approach as a standard of care in the United States.[vii] Less than 20% of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis who experienced a fracture received treatment for the underlying disease of osteoporosis within 6 months following a fracture.

The burden of osteoporosis may be reduced through both primary and secondary fracture prevention. Primary prevention includes targeted intervention and treatment programs that aim to improve screening for osteoporosis with bone mineral density (BMD) tests and treatment with pharmacologic agents as well as identifying and proactively addressing modifiable risk factors.[viii] In terms of secondary prevention, an osteoporotic fracture is a sentinel event that should trigger appropriate clinical attention directed to reducing the risk of future fractures. Increased focus on the identification and management of individuals who have experienced an osteoporotic fracture through a secondary fracture prevention program may lead to reduced rates of subsequent fractures and result in cost savings to payers, such as Medicare.[ix]

“With osteoporosis causing an estimated two million broken bones per year, we know osteoporosis-related bonebreaks are responsible for significant human and financial costs,” said Claire Gill, chief executive officer, NOF. “There has never been a greater need for effective post-fracture prevention and care coordination programs.These programs are the key to sparing many Americans from the pain and reduced quality of life associated withbroken bones, while at the same time producing enormous cost savings for the healthcare system.”

“Post-fracture care coordination programs may be a cost-effective way to support the estimated 1.5 million women and men in the United States who suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture each year,” said Darryl Sleep, M.D., senior vice president of Global Medical and chief medical officer at Amgen. “As part of Amgen’s ongoing commitment to predict and help prevent the impact of serious diseases, like osteoporosis, we proudly support this initiative by the National Osteoporosis Foundation to bring much-needed care to patients who need it.”

Osteoporosis is treated by multiple specialties, underscoring the need for coordinated care to support patients withthe disease. This partnership will evaluate how a system approach can help drive fracture prevention prioritization and provide better quality care for patients. Additional elements of the partnership include developing and implementing efficiencies, best practice sharing across the program sites, creating tools that document and help communicate post-fracture care effectiveness, and providing virtual and in-person mentorship and learning opportunities for healthcare providers.

“Identifying patients at risk for osteoporotic fractures early is an important way to address gaps in care for patients living with osteoporosis. By leveraging coordinated care models to identify at-risk patients, we aim to drive patient outcomes, improve care quality, and reduce costs now and into the future,” said Professor Dr. Iris Loew-Friedrich, chief medical officer, and executive vice president, UCB. “Cross-stakeholder and system collaborations like this one demonstrate the value of connecting healthcare to transform the lives of patients living with severe diseases.”

Atrium Health
“We are committed to preventing future fractures and this partnership underscores Atrium Health’s mission to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all. We thank NOF for the opportunity to be a part of this exciting initiative that will ensure active aging and quality of life for our osteoporosis patients.”
-Claude “T.” Moorman III, MD, President of Atrium Health’s Musculoskeletal Institute

MedStar Health
“Adopting an FLS model of care is critical to prevention and a demonstrated best practice in our commitment to providing the best possible comprehensive care to our patients. MedStar Health is proud to be partnering with the National Osteoporosis Foundation on this valuable initiative.”
-Aviram M. Giladi, MD, MS, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

For more information about osteoporosis and the fracture liaison service model of care, visit www.nof.org.

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About National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF)
Established in 1984, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is the nation’s leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis and broken bones, promoting strong bones for life and reducing human suffering through programs of awareness, education, advocacy and research. For more information on the National Osteoporosis Foundation, visit www.nof.org.

About Atrium Health
Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with nearly 70,000 teammates serving patients at 40 hospitals and more than 1,400 care locations. It provides care under the Wake Forest Baptist Health name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region, as well as Atrium Health Navicent and Floyd in Georgia. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest School of Medicine is the academic core of the enterprise, including Wake Forest Innovations, which is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in eight pediatric specialties, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and was the recipient of the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing more than $2 billion per year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.

About Medstar Health
At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.

CONTACTS:

NOF:
Carina May 703-740-1764 (media)
carina.may@nof.org

Atrium Health:
Ashley Brown  704-631-0411 (media)
Ashley.Brown@atriumhealth.org

MedStar Health:
Debra Schindler 410-274-1260 (media)
Debra.Schindler@medstar.net

Amgen, Thousand Oaks:
Megan Fox, 805-447-1423 (media)
Michael Strapazon, 805-313-5553 (media)
mstrapaz@amgen.com

UCB, Brussels, Belgium:
Adriaan Snauwaert, +32 497 70 23 46 (media)
adriaan.snauwaert@ucb.com

References

[i] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2004

[ii] National Osteoporosis Foundation. Treatment. Available at: http://nof.org/live/treating. Accessed June 4, 2021.

[iii] National Osteoporosis Foundation. Clinician’s Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis. Washington, DC: National Osteoporosis Foundation; 2014

[iv] National Osteoporosis Foundation. What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? https://nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis. Accessed June 4, 2021.

[v] National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. Osteoporosis Overview. https://www.bones.nih.gov/sites/bones/files/pdfs/osteopoverview-508.pdf. Published 2018. Accessed June 4, 2021.

[vi] Lewiecki EM, Ortendahl JD, Vanderpuye-Orgle J, et al. Healthcare Policy Changes in Osteoporosis Can Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs in the United States. JBMR Plus. May 2019. doi:10.1002/jbm4.10192

[vii] Solomon DH, Patrick AR, Schousboe J, Losina E. The potential economic benefits of improved postfracture care: a cost-effectiveness analysis of a fracture liaison service in the US health-care system. J Bone Miner Res. 2014;29(7):1667-1674. doi:10.1002/jbmr.2180

[viii] Loh KY, Shong HK. Osteoporosis: Primary prevention in the community. Med J Malaysia. 2007;62(4):355- 357

[ix] Eisman JA, Bogoch ER, Dell R, et al. Making the first fracture the last fracture: ASBMR task force report on secondary fracture prevention. J Bone Miner Res. 2012;27(10):2039-2046. doi:10.1002/jbmr.1698