Talk to patients about osteoporosis

We appreciate the work you've done to help improve patient treatment for osteoporosis. Still, the numbers tell us we need to do more.

Currently, 22 percent of Providence Health Plans female members age 65 or older who have fractured a bone have been treated with medication or received a bone mineral density test for osteoporosis. With your help, we'd like to reach more women at risk and help them get the follow-up care they need to treat the underlying causes of bone fractures. Our aim is to reach 60 percent of the women in this category who we insure, and ideally, reach 85 percent.

When a female patient 65 or older with a fracture visits the hospital or sees a specialist, she may not always share the information with her primary care provider – the individual most likely to work with her long-term to address underlying causes. If you treat a patient with a fracture, please encourage her to tell her primary care provider about the break. Once a patient has suffered a fragility fracture, she is eligible for medication to treat her osteoporosis.

We have made significant gains in identifying and treating greater numbers of patients in other guideline-based care programs that are of interest to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including rheumatoid arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We are confident we can achieve greater success in reaching and treating women at risk for osteoporosis. Thank you for ensuring these women receive appropriate treatment while also helping us meet the goals set out for us by CMS.