ISCD Continues to Spearhead Osteoporosis Campaign. Alarming New Study Underscores Need for DXA Bills
The Fracture Prevention Coalition, together with ISCD, has continued to build support for both HR 3517 and S. 1943 the Increasing Access to Osteoporosis Testing for Medicare Beneficiaries Acts of 2021. These bills were introduced to improve access to osteoporosis screening by stabilizing reimbursement rates.
Through our advocacy efforts and grassroots outreach, several new co-sponsors have signed on, now HR 3517 has 73 co-sponsors and S. 1943 has 16 co-sponsors. We need to keep the momentum going over the coming weeks. We urge you to help demonstrate the community support for these proposals by sending a quick email to members of the House and Senate by clicking here.
Fractures caused by osteoporosis are among the most significant challenges threatening the independence and quality of life for older Americans, making these bills more important than ever. In fact, the New York times just reported that hip fractures are expected to nearly double by 2050 based on research reported out of Hong Kong. It’s a concerning change. DXA was highlighted in the article as an important tool in the fight to protect bone health.
Important information on Osteoporosis and both proposals can be found on the Fracture Prevention Coalition website at www.fracturepreventioncoalition.org. We’re happy to report that a new group has also joined the coalition #HealthyWomen. Information on the group and their efforts can also be found on the site.
As Donna Fiorentino, ISCD’s Legislative Counsel continues to share information on the importance of DXA testing in meetings with members of the US House and Senate, sharing stories from individual providers and patients is critical. If you have a story to share, please contact Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can use that information in our Congressional discussion.
Information on the decline in testing, as well as state and national statistics on hip fractures and fracture related deaths are part of the details shared with each member of Congress and really helps to illustrate the problems facing our providers and patients.
Finally, we’re sad to report that one of our lead champions in the House died unexpectedly this summer in a tragic accident. Rep. Walorksi was a champion for our cause and her efforts, leadership and commitment to improving the lives of her constituents will be greatly missed.
At the State Level:
States Gear Up for Election Day – Legislative and Regulatory Activity Remains Higher than Usual
The anticipation of the elections on November 8th have triggered an unusual amount of state activity. Legislators are filing proposals and holding “off session” hearings as they campaign for re-election.
Four states are in active session- Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These four states are not currently entertaining any immediate proposals that would impact the ISCD or its members, although proposals for the 2023 session are expected in these typically active legislatures.
An unprecedented eight states have already pre-filed legislation for the 2023 session- Florida, Kentucky, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, and Virginia. There are approximately 30 pieces of pre-filed legislation (and increasing) that we are reviewing that could impact the ISCD. As these pre-filed bills emerge, Anita Schepker is researching and tracking those proposals and notifying ISCD members in those states should there be issues of concern that jeopardize best practices and patient quality.
The state of Oklahoma is currently in Special Session – largely looking at budgetary issues; this state remains without certification requirements and we continue to work with that state to push for certification to ensure quality health outcomes.
Missouri, while not in special session, has been a very active state. Legislators who are running for re-election plan to re-introduce legislation that will recognize the ISCD certification program in 2023 and we are again working with both state Representatives and state Senators to pass a strong certification law.
There have been, to date, 133 regulatory proposals that we have reviewed for ISCD members. Current activity this month includes the states of Kansas, where they are looking to modify and increase continuing education credits and whom may offer those credits. The state of Arizona, is proposing changes to the radiologic technology licensing requirements; and while we have ISCD recognition in Arizona, we monitor the activity of the hearings in order to ensure that there is no erosion of quality standards.
2023 Legislative Activity
We anticipate a very busy year in the states in 2023. It is typical that after an election, especially a midterm election, that Governors and Legislators propose a flurry of bills reflecting campaign promises. Similarly, there will be pressure on state agencies to enact regulations to clarify or amend laws that are or will be enacted.
Look for our election update in November! In the meantime, we will continue to keep the ISCD members apprised of critical activities.