American Urological Association supports Medicare Osteoporosis Supplement Act

March 09, 2000

WASHINGTON--Citing that increased access to bone density testing will save thousands of men with advanced prostate cancer from the permanent disability and debilitation of osteoporosis, the American Urological Association (AUA) strongly gave its support to the Medicare Osteoporosis Measurement Act. The legislation, which will expand Medicare coverage for individuals at risk for osteoporosis, including men with advanced prostate cancer undergoing hormonal suppression therapy, was introduced March 8 by Representatives Connie Morella (R-Maryland) and Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada).

"Testosterone suppression therapy is a well accepted modality for treating men with advanced prostate cancer whose malignancy cannot be managed by surgery or radiation therapy since testosterone drives the growth of prostate cancer," says Dr. H. Logan Holtgrewe of Severna Park, Maryland, Chair of the AUA Health Policy Council and a Past President of the Association. "Because this therapy has a significant impact on bone loss, men undergoing it face a high risk for osteoporosis. The availability of bone density testing through Medicare will help physicians identify those men at risk of sustaining debilitating fractures due to this bone loss."

According to Dr. Holtgrewe, the proposed legislation will be easy to implement and cost effective since Medicare will realize significant savings by reducing the number of hospital and rehabilitation center stays associated with fractures due to osteoporosis.

"Of course, the greatest benefit will be the advanced quality of life for prostate cancer patients whose osteoporosis is diagnosed early and who receive treatment to stave off this devastating affliction," Dr. Holtgrewe concluded.
The American Urological Association is the premier professional society for urologists not only from the United States, but throughout the world. Its varied programs and activities help urologists stay on the cutting edge in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of genitourinary disorders.

American Urological Association

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