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Bone Mass Measurement

What it is

Bone mass measurements help your doctor tell if you are at risk for a broken bone (fracture). A disease that makes your bones weak can make them break more easily. This disease is called osteoporosis.

A simple scan can tell how dense your bones are. The test is painless, quick and accurate.

Why the screening is important

This test can find osteoporosis before a bone breaks, and it can predict your chances of breaking a bone in the future. The results will help you and your doctor choose the best way to keep your bones strong.

Who is covered

People at risk for osteoporosis are covered for this screening. Your risk for osteoporosis is higher if you:

  • are age 50 or older
  • are a woman
  • have a family history of broken bones
  • have a personal history of broken bones
  • are White or Asian
  • are small-boned
  • have low body weight (less than about 127 pounds)
  • smoke or drink a lot
  • have a low-calcium diet

How often it is covered

The screening is covered once every 24 months (more often if medically necessary). Ask your doctor how to get this screening.

What you pay

You pay nothing for cost of this service if you have Original Medicare and you see a doctor who “accepts assignment.” Doctors who accept assignment agree to accept the amount that Medicare will pay for a visit or service (called the Medicare-approved amount) as payment in full.

If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan, the plan cannot charge you for this service as long as you see an “in-network” provider, meaning a doctor who has an agreement to treat people who belong to the plan. If you use a provider outside your plan's network, it may cost you money.

Learn more about Bone Mass Measurement on Medicare.gov.

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