|What does OHIP cover?
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass leading to fragile
bones and increased risk of fractures. Bone mineral density (BMD) testing assesses bone
loss due to osteoporosis and helps the patient and physician to measure the risk of future
fractures, determine the need for medical treatment and to monitor the success of existing
Medical experts recommend that BMD testing be carried out using only
the ‘axial DXA’ machine which scans
both hip and spine. This technique is clinically superior to all other testing methods and
is the only method insured by OHIP.
covers all necessary BMD tests in persons at high risk for osteoporosis and future
fractures. The high-risk group includes any person with any of the following major risk
women with any two of the following risk factors: smoker, hyperthyroidism, low
calcium intake, excess alcohol intake.
Effective October 1, 1999,
low risk patients are eligible for BMD testing once in any 24-month period. For services
on or after October 1, 1999, this 24-month period will be determined from April 1, 1998
Low risk patients and
referring physicians need to advise diagnostic facilities of the date of any previous BMD
test so that the facility can verify that the planned test is insured.
What is not covered?
testing of low risk persons provided more frequently than once every 24 months is
uninsured but may be provided at the patient’s expense.
guidelines do not support the need for low risk patients to be tested more often than
every two years. The changes in OHIP coverage reflect the current guidelines. High risk
patients (determined by the physician) will continue to receive unrestricted access.
This fact sheet includes
material provided by the Osteoporosis Society of Canada (OSC). Further information on
osteoporosis may be obtained from the OSC’s web site: www.osteoporosis.ca).
should discuss their individual health needs with their family physician.