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Osteoporosis Laws

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Osteoporosis: State Laws

Updated May 2011 

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Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and the deterioration of bone tissues, which increase the risk of bone fractures.  The disease primarily affects older women because of the significant physical changes that affect bone health during and following menopause.  Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss occurs without symptoms and may not be detected until a fracture occurs.  Bone mineral density tests can be performed to identify osteoporosis and determine risk for fractures before they occur.  Osteoporosis treatment focuses on proper nutrition, exercise and fall prevention.  In addition, medications may slow or stop bone loss, increase bone density and reduce fracture risk.  Building strong bones in childhood and adolescence can help prevent osteoporosis later in life.  Almost 90 percent of bone mass is acquired by age 18 in women and by age 20 in men.  

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, in the U.S. 10 million individuals over the age of 50—80 percent of whom are women—are estimated to have osteoporosis and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for the disease. Half of women over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their life.  Fractures due to osteoporosis are most likely in the hip, spine and wrist, but any bone can be affected. In 2005, osteoporosis was responsible for more than 2 million fractures, costing an estimated $12.2 to $17.9 billion in direct care.  By 2025, osteoporosis-related fractures are expected to cost approximately $25.3 billion.  Approximately 75 percent of health care costs of osteoporosis for women over the age of 45 are paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.  Each year, 140,000 nursing home admissions are the direct result of a hip fracture.

Federal and state legislation has been introduced in an effort to increase funding for medical research on osteoporosis, expand bone health and osteoporosis education programs and improve access and reimbursement for tests to diagnose the disease.

At least thirty-four states and Puerto Rico have enacted laws relating to osteoporosis, the majority of which establish statewide education, public awareness and prevention programs. 

At least fourteen states—California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas—mandate insurance coverage for osteoporosis-related diagnostic and treatment services, including technologies approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and bone density measurement.

 

First Letter of State: A C D F G H I  K L M N O R T U V W

State

Summary of Statutes

Alabama

Ala. Code § 22-13A-1 et seq. (1995) create the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Act to foster a multigenerational statewide program to promote public awareness and knowledge about the causes of osteoporosis, risk factors, the value of prevention and early detection and the options available for treatment.

American Samoa

 

Alaska

    

Arizona

2006 Ariz. Sess. Laws, Chap. 362 (appropriation bill; not codified) grants an appropriation to the Department of Health Services for services related to osteoporosis.  Appropriations will foster collaboration between county health departments, community health centers and private organizations with an interest in osteoporosis to create a statewide network for conducting osteoporosis screenings, with specific focus on rural and underserved areas.

Arkansas

Ark. Stat. Ann. § 20-15-1401 et seq. (1997) create the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Act and require the department of health to coordinate with other agencies and organizations to establish, promote and maintain an osteoporosis prevention and treatment education program. The purpose of the program is to raise public awareness, educate consumers, and educate and train health professionals and service providers.

California

Cal. Health and Safety Code § 1367.67 (1993) requires insurers to provide coverage for the diagnosis, treatment and appropriate management of osteoporosis, which includes all technologies approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and bone mass measurement technologies as deemed medically appropriate.

Cal. Health and Safety Code § 125700 et seq. (1999) create the California Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Act to promote public awareness of the disease and to educate the public on the prevention and management of osteoporosis.

Cal. Insurance Code § 10123.185 requires disability insurers to provide coverage for services related to the diagnosis, treatment and appropriate management of osteoporosis. Services may include all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved technologies including bone mass measurement technologies as deemed medically appropriate.

Colorado

 
Connecticut

1996 Conn. Acts, P.A. 96-245 established a task force to study the availability of resources devoted to the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. (SB 57)   [Act expired in 1996]

1999 Conn. Acts, P.A. 99-9 created the Osteoporosis Education and Awareness Advisory Council for the purposes of assessing osteoporosis advocacy, policy and public and medical education. The council was charged with instituting a statewide media campaign on prevention and preparing and distributing material to reach high-risk groups. The advisory council terminates two years from the date of its inception. (SB 1250)   [Act expired in 2001]

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 20-631  concerns a collaborative drug therapy management agreement which allows pharmacists to work with physicians to manage drug therapy for chronic conditions, including osteoporosis. 2010 Conn. Acts, P.A. 117 amends the drug therapy management agreement, which specifically identified osteoporosis as a chronic condition covered; however, in practice coverage of drug therapy for osteoporosis should remain. (SB 428)

Delaware

Del. Code Ann. tit. 16 § 30-3001 (1998) establishes the Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Initiative within the Department of Health and Social Services to promote and maintain an osteoporosis prevention and education initiative. The initiative raises public awareness about the causes and nature of osteoporosis, personal risk factors and the value of prevention and early detection.
District of Columbia    

Florida

Fla. Stat. § 381.87 (1996) creates the Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program to promote public awareness of the causes of osteoporosis, options for prevention, the value of early detection and possible treatments, including the benefits and risks of those treatments.

Fla. Stat. § 627.6409, § 627.6691 and § 641.31 (1996) require insurers to provide coverage for the medically necessary diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis for high-risk individuals, with some exceptions.

Georgia

Ga. Code Ann. § 31-15A-1 et seq. (1998) enact the Bone Mass Measurement Coverage Act. The act requires insurance plans to offer coverage for scientifically proven bone mass measurement screenings for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

Ga. Code Ann. § 31-42.1 et seq. (1995) enact the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Act to create a multigenerational, statewide program to promote awareness and knowledge about osteoporosis, risk factors, prevention, detection and treatment options.

Guam

 
Hawaii  
Idaho  
Illinois

Ill. Ann. Stat. ch. 20, § 2305/8.2 (1994) requires the Department of Public Health to establish, promote and maintain an osteoporosis prevention and education program to promote public awareness of the causes of osteoporosis, options for prevention, and the value of early detection and treatments.

Ill. Ann. Stat. ch. 215, § 356z.6 amends the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971, the Counties Code, the Illinois Municipal Code, the School Code, the Illinois Insurance Code, The Health Maintenance Organization Act, the Voluntary Health Services Plans Act and the Illinois Public Aid Code to require coverage for bone mass measurement and treatment of osteoporosis.

Ill. Ann. Stat. ch. 320, § 25/3.15 among other provisions, the law defines any prescription drug used in the treatment of osteoporosis as a covered prescription drug under the pharmaceutical assistance program. (2007 Ill. Laws, P.A. 95-208; HB 1257)

Indiana

Ind. Code § 16-41-39.6 et seq. (1997) allow the Department of Health to establish an osteoporosis prevention and treatment program and establish the osteoporosis education fund.
Iowa  

Kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 40-2, 166a (2001) requires insurers to provide coverage for services related to the diagnosis, treatment and management of osteoporosis, including bone mass measurement when medically necessary. (SB 19)
Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 211.635 (2006) establishes a multigenerational osteoporosis prevention and education program to promote public awareness of the disease. Awareness efforts are to focus on the causes of osteoporosis, options for prevention, the value of early detection and treatment and increasing awareness of national clinical guidelines for health care providers. (SB 202)

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 304.17-3163, § 304.17A-134, § 304.18-0983, § 304.32-1593 and § 304.1934(1998) require insurers to make available and offer coverage for bone density testing for women 35 years and older to obtain baseline data for the early detection of osteoporosis.

Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22:1032 (1999) requires insurers to include coverage for scientifically proven bone mass measurement tests for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 46:153.3 (amended in 2004) provides for duties and responsibilities of the Medicaid Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee; requires that prior to a drug being authorized, it must have been reviewed by the Committee; provides that any pharmacopoeia developed by the Committee shall include but not be limited to drugs in specified therapeutic categories, including osteoporosis.

Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 254-D (2005) specifies that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services shall provide prescription drug benefits under the elderly low-cost drug program, including the coverage of drugs to treat osteoporosis.
Maryland

Md. Environmental Code Ann. § 13-1901 et seq. (2002) require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to establish an Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Task Force. (HB 5322009 Md. Laws, Chap. 656 repeals the provisions establishing this task force.

Md. Insurance Code Ann. § 15-823 (1997) requires coverage for reimbursement of bone mass measurement for individuals when the measurement is requested by a health care provider. The law requires insurance plans to provide specified coverage for individuals for a procedure used to identify bone mass or detect bone loss for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

Massachusetts

 
Michigan

1997 Mich. Pub. Acts, Act 94 (appropriations bill; not codified) requires the Department of Community Health to allocate funds to implement an osteoporosis prevention and treatment education program.

1998 Mich. Pub. Acts, Act 336 (appropriations bill; not codified) allocates funds from the health education, promotion and research programs appropriation for the implementation of an osteoporosis prevention and treatment education program. (SB 908 of 1998)

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 144.121 (1996) permits the use of direct exposure x-ray film in radiographic absorptionmetry for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis.

1995 Minn. Laws, Chap. 207 (Art. 6) (appropriations bill; not codified) requires the Department of Health to report on the need for an osteoporosis prevention and treatment program and authorizes the department to apply for grants and gifts to establish a program. (SF 1110)

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. § 41-93-1 et seq. (1994) establish the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Act to create a statewide program to promote public awareness and knowledge about the causes of osteoporosis, personal risk factors, the value of prevention and early detection and the options available for treatment.

Missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 376.1199 (2001)  requires health benefit plans that provide obstetrics and gynecology benefits to include coverage related to diagnosis, treatment and management of osteoporosis. 

Montana

 

Nebraska

 
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. § 236.065 (1997) requires the governor to proclaim annually that the week beginning with Mother's Day is Osteoporosis Prevention and Awareness Week in Nevada.
New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 126:I-1 et seq. (1997) require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish, promote and maintain an osteoporosis prevention and education program. The program shall promote public awareness about the causes of osteoporosis options for prevention, and the value of early detection and possible treatments, including the benefits and risks of those treatments. The law also provides for the establishment of an advisory council.

New Jersey

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:2R-1 et seq. (1997) establish an osteoporosis prevention and education program in the Department of Health and Senior Services. The purpose of the program is to promote public awareness about the causes of osteoporosis, options for prevention, and the value of early detection and possible treatments. The law also creates the Interagency Council on Osteoporosis.

New Mexico

 
New York

N.Y. Public Health Law § 2705 et seq. (1998) establish the Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program to promote public awareness of the causes of osteoporosis, options for prevention and the value of early detection and possible treatments. The program implements a public education and outreach campaign to promote osteoporosis prevention and a professional education program for health care providers and health-related community-based organizations. The law also creates an osteoporosis advisory council. (AB 11723) N.Y. Public Health Law § 2707 (1998) established an osteoporosis advisory council, which was repealed effective July 2, 2010. 2010 N.Y. Laws, Chap. 58.

N.Y. Insurance Law § 3221, § 4303 and § 4322 (2002) require that certain health insurance contracts provide coverage for bone mineral density measurements or tests, and if contracts include prescription drug coverage, for drugs and devices approved by the FDA. Additionally, the insurer or HMO must adopt standards which include the criteria of the federal Medicare program and the National Institutes of Health for the detection of osteoporosis when determining coverage for bone mineral density measurements or tests. (SB 2014)

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 58-3-174 (1999) requires insurers to provide coverage for scientifically proven and approved bone mass measurement services for the diagnosis and evaluation of osteoporosis or low bone mass.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 58-50-155 provides that bone mass measurement for the diagnosis and evaluation of osteoporosis be covered by the developed standard health plan.

1997 N.C. Sess. Laws, Chap. 443 (appropriations bill; not codified) creates the Osteoporosis Task Force to raise public awareness, obtain statistical research and develop an osteoporosis prevention plan.

North Dakota  
Ohio  

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 63, § 1-260.1 et seq. (1999) establish within the Department of Health an osteoporosis prevention and treatment education program. The law also creates the Interagency Council on Osteoporosis.

Okla. Stat. tit. 36, § 6060.1 (1996) requires insurers to provide coverage for bone density testing for people whose medical histories indicate a high risk of osteoporosis when the test is requested by a primary care or referral physician.
Oregon  

Pennsylvania

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 71, § 531-A et seq. (1998) create an Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program to raise public awareness of the causes and effects of osteoporosis, personal risk factors, prevention, early detection and options for diagnosis and treatment.
Puerto Rico Laws of Puerto Rico Ann. 1 § 5121 establishes the second week of May each year as "Osteoporosis Prevention and Control Week," aimed at engaging the community in osteoporosis prevention and control through community activities for the Puerto Rican people.

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-70-1 et seq. (1997) authorize the use of existing resources to educate the public on the causes of osteoporosis and personal risk factors; to publicize the value of early detection and prevention; and to identify the most cost-effective options available for treatment. In addition, the law allows for the director of the Department of Health to appoint a task force to make recommendations.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-66.2-3 (2001) provides pharmaceutical assistance to the elderly for drugs approved for the treatment of osteoporosis. (HB 5527)

South Carolina

S.C. Code Ann. § 44-125-10 et seq. (1997) establish the Osteoporosis Prevention, Treatment and Education Act and the Osteoporosis Education Fund for the purpose of promoting public awareness, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. The law requires the Department of Health and Environmental Control to administer the fund and to establish an osteoporosis prevention and treatment education program.

South Dakota

 
Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-2506 (1996) creates the Bone Mass Measurement Coverage Act. The law requires insurers to provide coverage to a qualified individual for scientifically proven bone mass measurement for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. This law created an Interagency Council and Advisory Panel on Osteoporosis in subdivision 5 of §68-1-1501 which was terminated on July 1, 2008. (2008 Tenn. Pub. Acts, Chap. 668)

Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-1501 et seq. (1995) create the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Act. The law establishes a statewide program to promote public awareness and knowledge about osteoporosis within the Department of Health.

Tenn. House Joint Resolution 431 (1996; not codified) continues a special joint committee for two more years to further study and make recommendations on women's health issues. The resolution notes that the committee must devised specific recommendations relative to women's health issues, including osteoporosis research in state educational facilities.

Texas

Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. § 90.001 et seq. (1995) establish a program to promote public awareness of the benefits and value of early detection, prevention and appropriate treatment of osteoporosis. The law also provides for the appointment of an osteoporosis task force.

Tex. Insurance Code Ann. § 1361.001 et seq. (1995) require insurers to provide coverage for medically accepted bone mass measurement for the detection of low bone mass and to determine the risk of osteoporosis and fractures associated with osteoporosis.

U.S. Virgin Islands

 
Utah  
Vermont

 

Virginia

Va. Code § 32.1-11.3 (1995) requests the Department of Health, in cooperation with the Medical Society of Virginia, to initiate an osteoporosis prevention and education program to promote public knowledge of the causes, prevention and value of early detection of osteoporosis.

Washington

Wash. Rev. Code § 28B.20.462 et seq. (1990) establish the Warren G. Magnuson Institute for Biomedical Research and Health Professions Training. The law supports biomedical research into the causes, treatment and management of osteoporosis.

West Virginia

W. Va. Code § 16-5M-1 et seq. (1996) create the Osteoporosis Prevention Education Act and require the Bureau of Public Health to promote and maintain the program by developing strategies for educating the public and health professionals. The act also establishes the Interagency Council on Osteoporosis to coordinate the osteoporosis programs conducted by the Bureau of Public Health.

2010 W.Va. Acts. Chap. 8 appropriates funds to Osteoporosis and Arthritis Prevention. (SB 213)

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. Ann. § 255.06 creates the well-woman program to provide reimbursement for health care screenings, referrals, follow-ups, case management, and patient education provided to low income, underinsured and uninsured women. This program includes an osteoporosis component to raise awareness concerning the causes and nature of osteoporosis, risk factors for developing, the value of prevention and early  detection, and options for diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

Wyoming

 


Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Osteoporosis Foundation
Note: List may not be comprehensive, but is representative of state laws that exist. NCSL appreciates additions and corrections.

 

Resources

Osteoporosis Breaks Bones and Budgets
National Conference of State Legislatures, LegisBrief, April/May 2008

National Osteoporosis Foundation

Nutrition for Everyone: Bone Health
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2004

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