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Odessa, Texas 79761





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Bone Density

A bone density test will determine if you have osteoporosis -- a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and more likely to break.

In the past, osteoporosis could be detected only after you broke a bone.  By that time, however, your bones could be quite weak.
A bone density test makes it possible to know your risk of breaking bones before the fact.

A  bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone.  The bones that are most commonly tested are located in the spine, hip and forearm. 
Who Should Have a Bone Density Test?
According to National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines, there are several groups of people who should consider bone density testing:

     - All postmenopausal women below age 65 who have risk factors for osteoporosis.
     - All women aged 65 and older
     - Postmenopausal women with fractures; this is not mandatory  because treatment may be       started regardless of bone density.
     - Women with medical conditions associated with osteoporosis.  Your health care provider can tell you if you have a medical condition associated with osteoporosis.
     - Women whose decision to use medication might be aided by bone density testing.
     - Men age 70 or older.
     - Men ages 50-69 with risk factors for osteoporosis.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of a Bone Density Test?
Many health insurance companies cover the cost of a bone density test, as does Medicare.  But you need to check ahead of time to see if the test is covered under your specific plan (or if you qualify according to Medicare's criteria for who is eligible for testing).

Most health insurers will pay for this test if you have one or more risk factors such as:
          - A fracture         
          - You are postmenopausal        
          - You are not taking estrogen at menopause
          - You are taking medications that cause bone thinning

Medicare covers bone density testing for the following individuals aged 65 and older:
          - estrogen-deficient women at risk for osteoporosis
          - Individuals with spinal abnormalities
          - Individuals receiving, or planning to receive, long-term glucocorticoid (steroid) therapy
          - Individuals with primary hyperparathyroidism
          - Individuals being monitored to assess the response or efficacy of an approved osteoporosis drug therapy
          - Medicare permits individuals to repeat bone density testing every two years.