Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vitamin D Update

New Bog Update
Just wanted to drop everyone a line to say that I am still alive! The cut over of the blog is going well and much of the old info you have come to know and love will all be on the new site, including all the comments. Yep, all 303 entries over 2 years will be on the new blog and special thanks to my web guy for doing that portion.

Still on target for the third week in June to have it up and running.

Vitamin D Testing
In the meantime, here is a very important letter from Dr. John Cannell about Vitamin D testing and reimbursement. The reality is that unless it is covered under insurance, most will never have their levels of Vitamin D tested.

One of the items in the list is hypovitaminosis D (aka low vitamin D levels), but your doc can't do a test as a screen. If he/she knows you are low in Vitamin D, the test is covered.

What sense does that make? If your doc knows you are low already, why would they need another test to tell them that? How do they get the first test to tell them that you are low unless you did it yourself via lab testing paying out of your own pocket! Crazyness.....

See the previous post below

From Dr. John Cannell

Dear Readers:

Medicare is up to it again, again trying to put dangerous restrictions on Vitamin D testing. Although the proposed guidelines for reimbursement are not as restrictive as Medicare's recent proposal, this proposal is restrictive none the less and, within a few months, will be adopted by your insurance company and every major insurance company in the country. Here is Medicare's new proposal:

http://www.highmark medicareservices .com/policy/ mac-ab/dl30273. html

Measurement of vitamin D levels would only be indicated for patients with:

* chronic kidney disease stage III or greater
* cancer
* cirrhosis
* diabetes
* fibromyalgia
* granuloma forming diseases
* hypocalcemia
* hypercalcemia
* hypovitaminosis D
* long term use of anticonvulsants or glucocorticoids
* malabsorption states
* obstructive jaundice
* osteoporosis (unresponsive to therapy)
* osteomalacia
* osteosclerosis
* psoriasis
* rickets
* vitamin D deficiency on replacement therapy; to monitor the efficacy of treatment

It would forbid screening, the most important use of the test. That is, hypovitaminosis D is covered but your doctor can't order the test to find out if you suffer from low Vitamin D in the first place.

You can send your comments via the Internet using the link below. For using the link below for your comments, this proposal's LCD number is DL30273. The name of the proposal is "Vitamin D Assay Testing."

http://www.highmark medicareservices .com/policy/ form-comments. html

If you'd rather send a letter, which is better, sent it to:

Ms. Anna Gene Risoldi
Senior Research Analyst
Highmark Medicare Services
1800 Center Street, 1AL3
Camp Hill, PA 17089

May I also ask that you send an email with your comments to Dr. Daniel B. Kimball, Jr., drdankimball@> He's on the AMA board that reviews this policy.

John Cannell, MD
The Vitamin D Council
585 Leff Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401