Although cancer research has come a long way in treating and preventing the disease, cancer remains one of the most destructive health concerns among older adults. Cancer can affect virtually any system of the body, and even when treated, the effects of cancer and the subsequent required medical care can lead to other medical concerns, like osteoporosis, as systems are weakened. Additionally, osteoporosis is a concern for post-menopausal women, individuals who smoke, those who have a family history of osteoporosis and people who are deficient in calcium. While many treatment options exist to combat osteoporosis, many Medicare recipients find relief from symptoms through Reclast.

What is Reclast?
Reclast (zoledronic acid injection) is a drug administered via injection that promotes healing in bones that have been damaged due to cancer, cancer therapies or other causes of osteoporosis. This drug has been demonstrated to improve healing in some patients who have experienced bone damage, but it may also improve overall bone density to strengthen weak bones against future injury.

In most cases, it is administered only once per year, but for some patients, longer intervals may pass between treatments. Reclast can sometimes lead to difficult side effects, so it’s important to discuss any changes in your physical or mental well-being while taking Reclast and ask any questions you have regarding concurrent medications or underlying medical conditions prior to taking Reclast.

Does Medicare Cover Reclast?
Medicare’s Part D prescription drug benefit typically provides coverage for drugs that can be dispensed through retail pharmacies. Because Reclast is provided as an injection and not a medication that can be purchased at a traditional pharmacy, Medicare Part D insurance generally does not cover Reclast.

Under Medicare Part B, benefit recipients may be able to have the cost of Reclast covered when certain criteria are met. If injections are deemed medically necessary and administered by a medical professional in an outpatient setting, your Part B coverage may help pay for Reclast. Medicare Part A may help cover the cost of Reclast if you receive it after you are formally admitted as an inpatient at a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

Discuss Other Treatment Options
Although Reclast has been shown to be effective in fighting the effects of osteoporosis, especially after cancer treatment in women, it is not the only medication that addresses these health challenges. As a result, if you are unable to obtain coverage for Reclast injections through Medicare, you may be able to seek alternative treatments through the help of your physician.

In some cases, physical therapy may also be added to a treatment plan along with orthopedic support systems to assist in healing broken or fractured bones. Your doctor can also discuss dietary and exercise decisions with you to help you find the right foods and activities to support healing and promote overall wellness.

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