WASHINGTON, DC (March 21, 2013) – The National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA), a public-private partnership bringing together the expertise and resources of 49 member organizations from the private and non-profit sectors (in addition to four federal government liaisons) to collectively advance bone health and prevent disease, today launched Fracture Prevention CENTRAL (www.fracturepreventioncentral.org). The new online resource will help interested sites across the country implement and maintain post fracture prevention and care coordination programs, also known as a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS).
A FLS is a coordinated preventative care model that operates under the supervision of bone health specialists and collaborates with the patient’s primary care physician. Led by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, or other allied health professionals, the program ensures that older adult fracture patients receive appropriate osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment post-fracture. The program also creates a population registry of fracture patients and establishes a process and timeline for patient assessment and follow-up care.
“With an estimated two million fractures occurring in the United States every year at a cost of $17 billion, there has never been a greater need for wider implementation of effective post-fracture prevention and care coordination programs,” said David Lee, MPA, Director, National Bone Health Alliance. “With Fracture Prevention CENTRAL, we’ve collected the combined experience from a number of successful domestic and international post-fracture care programs in operation over the last 15 years and are offering it in one place to help additional sites take action to address the 80% fracture care gap that exists in the U.S.”
The post-fracture prevention and care coordination programs outlined in Fracture Prevention CENTRAL are modeled after successful programs that currently exist in the United States at the American Orthopaedic Association (the “Own the Bone” program www.ownthebone.org), Kaiser Permanente, Geisinger Health System and the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as internationally in the United Kingdom, Canada and elsewhere.
Fractures in the U.S. are expected to skyrocket to more than three million per year and $25 billion in annual costs by 2025. Currently, the combined number of all osteoporosis-related fractures is greater than the annual incidence of heart attacks, strokes, and new breast cancer cases combined. Fractures have a negative impact on quality of life, can cause physical and functional limitations and affect longevity, particularly for patients with hip and spine fractures.
Breaking a hip more than doubles a woman’s risk of death, yet after sustaining a fracture, high-risk individuals are rarely treated with calcium, vitamin D or prescription medication to prevent another fracture. The lack of commitment to fracture prevention is a major failing of the U.S. healthcare system and leads to increased healthcare expenditures, morbidity and mortality. Osteoporosis was the ninth most costly major illness among the top five percent highest cost Medicare beneficiaries in 2010.
“FLS programs are a public health imperative if we are to reduce the expected explosion in the number of hip and other fractures in the United States over the next decade," said Keith Hruska, MD, Co-Chair, National Bone Health Alliance; Past President, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Cell Biology, Washington University/St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri. “Fracture Prevention CENTRAL is an important tool to achieve NBHA’s ‘20/20 vision’ to reduce hip and other fractures 20 percent by the year 2020.”
"If Fracture Prevention CENTRAL helps sites across the country get post-fracture care coordination programs up and running, it will be a monumental achievement,” said Robert Recker, MD, MACP, FACE, Co-Chair, National Bone Health Alliance, President, National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and Director, Osteoporosis Research Center Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. “These programs are the key to sparing many Americans from the horrible pain, suffering and loss in quality of life associated with fractures, while also producing enormous cost savings throughout the health care system. We need to act now as a growing number of Americans are reaching the age where hip and other osteoporosis-related fractures are common, but in many cases are still preventable with the right intervention."
About the National Bone Health Alliance
Established in late 2010, the National Bone Health Alliance is a public-private partnership that brings together the expertise and resources of various partners across a broad spectrum to promote bone health and prevent disease; improve diagnosis and treatment of bone disease; and enhance bone research, surveillance and evaluation. The NBHA is a platform that allows all voices in the bone health community to work together around shared priorities and develop projects that can become reality through pooled funding. The 49 members of the Alliance (in addition to liaisons representing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Food and Drug Administration) are working from a shared vision: to improve the overall health and quality of life of all Americans by enhancing their bone health. For more information on the NBHA, visit www.nbha.org.