Lower reimbursement rates don't stop docs from offering osteoporosis test
A bone mineral density test is considered an important tool for diagnosing osteoporosis and determining if a patient requires a prescription to buy Fosamax.
A bone mineral density test is considered an important tool for diagnosing osteoporosis and determining if a patient requires a prescription to buy Fosamax. In 2007, the federal government announced that it would decrease Medicare reimbursement rates for this procedure, which prompted concern that doctors would stop offering it as frequently.
However, a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society indicates that this has not been the case.
Researchers examined the medical records of more than 405,000 women with employer-sponsored Medicare supplemental coverage. The results showed that there was no significant change in the percentage of individuals who received bone mineral density tests after reimbursements were cut.
While the percentage did drop from 12.9 percent in 2005 to 11.6 percent in 2008, the researchers said that physicians appeared to be following clinical guidelines for determining who should be tested. There were simply fewer women in 2008 who required testing.
The findings suggest that women do not have to worry about their doctor denying them this important test due to low reimbursement rates. If they require a prescription to buy Fosamax, they will likely find out.