2021 MIPS Measure #472: Appropriate Use of DXA Scans in Women Under 65 Years Who Do Not Meet the Risk Factor Profile for Osteoporotic Fracture

Quality ID 472
eMeasure ID CMS249v3
High Priority Measure Yes
Specifications EHR
Measure Type Process
Specialty Family Medicine Internal Medicine Obstetrics/Gynecology

Measure Description

Percentage of female patients 50 to 64 years of age without select risk factors for osteoporotic fracture who received an order for a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan during the measurement period.



This measure is expected to increase recording of patient risk for fracture data and decrease the amount of inappropriate DXA scans. Current osteoporosis guidelines recommend using bone measurement testing to assess osteoporosis risk in women 65 years and older. In postmenopausal women younger than age 65, guidelines recommend using a formal clinical risk assessment tool to establish a patient's risk for osteoporosis, in order to determine whether to screen a patient for osteoporosis using bone measurement testing. Clinical information, such as age, body mass index (BMI), parental hip fracture history, and smoking and alcohol use, can be used to determine a woman's fracture risk (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force [USPSTF], 2018). Additionally, there are potentially avoidable harms associated with screening for osteoporosis in general, including exposure to radiation, false positive exams, and resulting side effects from unnecessary osteoporosis medications, which add costs to an already burdened health care system (Lim, Hoeksema, & Sherin, 2009).

Clinical Recommendation Statements

"The USPSTF recommends screening for osteoporosis with bone measurement testing to prevent osteoporotic fractures in women 65 years and older." This is a B recommendation. 

"The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for osteoporosis to prevent osteoporotic fractures in men." This is an I statement.

"Several tools are available to assess osteoporosis risk: the Simple Calculated Osteoporosis Risk Estimate (SCORE; Merck), Osteoporosis Risk Assessment Instrument (ORAI), Osteoporosis Index of Risk (OSIRIS), and the Osteoporosis Self-Assessment Tool (OST). These tools seem to perform similarly and are moderately accurate at predicting osteoporosis. The FRAX tool (University of Sheffield), which assesses a person's 10-year risk of fracture, is also a commonly used tool."

"The USPSTF recommends screening for osteoporosis with bone measurement testing to prevent osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women younger than 65 years who are at increased risk of osteoporosis, as determined by a formal clinical risk assessment tool." This is a B recommendation. 
"For postmenopausal women younger than 65 years who have at least 1 risk factor, a reasonable approach to determine who should be screened with bone measurement testing is to use a clinical risk assessment tool." 

"Because the benefits of treatment are greater in persons at higher risk of fracture, one approach is to perform bone measurement testing in postmenopausal women younger than 65 years who have a 10-year FRAX risk of major osteoporotic fracture (MOF) (without DXA) greater than that of a 65-year-old white woman without major risk factors. For example, in the United States, a 65-year-old white woman of mean height and weight without major risk factors has a 10-year FRAX risk of MOF of 8.4%."

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s Osteoporosis Guidelines:
"Consider assessment of fracture risk:
a. in all women aged 65 years and over and all men aged 75 years and over
b. in women aged under 65 years and men aged under 75 years in the presence of risk factors, for 
*previous fragility fracture
*current use or frequent/ recent use of oral or systemic glucocorticoids
*history of falls
*family history of hip fracture
*other causes of secondary osteoporosis
*low body mass index (BMI) (less than 18.5 kg/m2)
*alcohol intake of more than 14 units per week for women and more than 21 units per week for men."
"Do not routinely assess fracture risk in people aged under 50 years unless they have major risk 
factors (for example, current or frequent/recent use of oral or systemic glucocorticoids, untreated 
premature menopause or previous fragility fracture), because they are unlikely to be at high risk."

"Estimate absolute risk when assessing risk of fracture (for example, the predicted risk of major osteoporotic or hip fracture over 10 years, expressed as a percentage."

"Use either FRAX (without a bone mineral density [BMD] value if a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry [DXA] scan has not previously been undertaken) or QFracture, within their allowed age ranges, to estimate 10-year predicted absolute fracture risk when assessing risk of fracture."

"Do not routinely measure BMD to assess fracture risk without prior assessment using FRAX 
(without a BMD value) or QFracture."

"Take into account that risk assessment tools may underestimate fracture risk in certain 
circumstances, for example if a person:
*has a history of multiple fractures
*has had previous vertebral fracture(s)
*has a high alcohol intake
*is taking high-dose oral or high-dose systemic glucocorticoids (more than 7.5 mg prednisolone 
or equivalent per day for 3 months or longer)
*has other causes of secondary osteoporosis."

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