13th, February, 2009.
On Friday, February 6, 2009, Medicare announced its
intention to stop paying for vitamin D blood tests in many Medicare
districts. If this rule passes, the change will quickly extend to all
Medicare districts. Private insurers will then follow suit, denying
payment for vitamin D blood tests, even for the diagnoses of vitamin D
deficiency. Medicare proposes to pay for vitamin D blood tests for only few
limited indications, such as rickets, osteomalacia and
chronic renal failure.
Draft LCD for Vitamin D Assay Testing (DL29510).
rule change flies in the face of an enormous amount of research, some of it published in the last few
months. For example, several weeks
ago, the British Journal of Cancer reported that in men with prostate cancer, those with highest vitamin D blood levels were 7 (seven) times
more likely to survive than were men with the lowest levels (RR 0.16). If any media stories appeared about
this amazing discovery, I am unable
to locate them.
Association between serum 25(OH)D and death from prostate
Medicare's reasoning is not understood in England. A week ago,
researchers at Oxford discovered the long-sort genetic link vitamin D has with
multiple sclerosis. According to Medicare's new rules, if you have MS, or
don't want your unborn baby to develop it, or have a family history of MS, or
just don't want to get MS, you
will have to pay for the blood
test to decide how much vitamin D you should take
to optimize your 25-hydroxy-vitamin D level.
MS link to vitamin D deficiency hailed by politicians as giant
If you are pregnant, and want to reduce your risk
of caesarian section by four-fold, you will
have to anti up.
Low vitamin D may increase chance of a caesarean
Patients with diagnosed colon cancer are 48% less
likely to die if their vitamin D levels are high. If you have this dreaded cancer, how do you know
if your levels are high?
Vitamin D May Promote Colon Cancer Survival
you fear getting demented, pay up. Recent research indicates people with impaired cognition are twice as
likely to have vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is mental health aid
If you have Parkinson's disease,
or don't want to get it, get our your wallet.
Study finds link between low vitamin D and Parkinson's
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics recently
"Given the growing evidence that adequate maternal vitamin D
status is essential during pregnancy, not only for maternal well-being but also
for fetal development, health care professionals who provide obstetric care
should consider assessing maternal vitamin D status by measuring the
25-hydroxy-vitamin D concentrations of pregnant women."
Prevention of rickets and vitamin D deficiency in infants,
children, and adolescents.
That is, the American Academy
of Pediatrics now suggests vitamin D blood levels be measured in all
pregnant women. Expectant mothers,
concerned about their baby's "fetal development," will soon have to
pay for the only test that will do what the American Academy of Pediatrics now
advises, tell them if their unborn baby is vitamin D
I could go on and on. Now is the time the Vitamin D Council needs your help. I
want you to do two things:
1) Email the person taking comments, Medicare's Ms. Gina Oliveri, at
and tell her your feelings about
this proposed rule change.
Include your reason why this test is crucial for the health
2) Send an email to your Congressperson and
ask them to investigate Medicare's
Draft LCD for Vitamin D Assay Testing (DL29510)." Tell your
representative not to let this happen. Simply click on the link below, fill in your
state and zip code, go to your Congressperson's website, and then click on "contact."
Write Your Representative
Of course, this rule change will help the finances of
the Vitamin D Council, as it will increase sales of
ZRT's in-home Vitamin D test
, which generates ten bucks per test to us.
However, this rule change will end up killing Americans. We cannot let it happen.
I can't stress enough how important
this is for the public health of the United States. On February 21st, in just nine days, Medicare
will not allow any further input by
citizens, so email both
Gina.Oliveri@ugswlp.com and your
Congressperson right now.
John Cannell, MD
The Vitamin D Council
Atascadero, CA 93422
Initially published in
Vitamin D Council Newsletter