MAYBE CHARGING CONSUMERS THE LOW PRICE of $599 for a whole human genome sequence is not a winning financial strategy. That’s one possible reason why closely-watched Veritas Genetics of Cambridge, Mass., will stop operations in the United States.
It was in July that Veritas announced it was cutting its already-low price to sequence a genome from
On March 6, one of the lab industry’s long-serving executives and consultants, Jack Mattice, PhD, of Vancouver, Wash., died from flu complications. He was 77 years old. Mattice earned a PhD in medical microbiology from University of Oregon. Within a few years, he was handling market development for United Medical Laboratories (UML), of Portland, Ore. UML reached
CEO SUMMARY: Last year, Kailos Genetics stopped collecting third-party payment, dropped its prices sharply, and started marketing its genetic-screening tests directly to consumers and physicians. At the time, 100% of its revenue came from third-party payers. Today, it gets 100% of its revenue from consumers. After eliminating third-party payment, revenue dropped precipitously, but is now
CEO SUMMARY: Advances in the speed, accuracy, and cost of next-generation gene sequencing making it possible for clinical labs to create thousands of new tests. How many new tests? NextGxDx, an information technology company, says the nation’s clinical laboratories are introducing new molecular and genetic tests at the rate of 10 per day! The company,
To advance the practice of precision medicine through better use of genetic testing, a new limited liability corporation (LLC) was formed. Participating in the LLC are North Shore-LIJ Health System, the nation’s largest urban health system, OPKO Health, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, and GeneDx, a division of Bio-Reference Laboratories (both lab businesses are owned by OPKO).
CEO SUMMARY: In California, a gene testing firm is increasing satisfaction among patients and physicians with a tool that provides patients with an estimate of the anticipated cost—before the physician orders a test! By providing transparency about the cost of tests upfront, Counsyl of South San Francisco increased revenue collected from patients by 63%, while also improving its customer satisfaction scores. This innovative online cost estimator tool is an example of how labs can deliver services that complement their lab tests and help them move “from volume to value.”
CEO SUMMARY: Cigna was the first national health insurer to require independent board-certified genetic counseling before approving coverage for certain genetic tests. Since launching this program in September 2013, the insurer has seen a 450% increase in genetic counseling for Cigna members. Such counseling has helped to reduce utilization of genetic testing because informed patients understand that a genetic test might not
Currently there are 119 operational health information exchanges (HIEs) in the United States. This number is 58% greater than the 75 HIEs that were operational in 2010. These numbers were reported in Health Affairs. The study was authored by researchers at the University of Michigan. They also determined that 30% of the nation’s hospitals and
IN THE FINAL WEEKS OF 2013, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would reduce the price it pays for the BRCA genetic test by 49%, to $1,438, effective on January 1, 2014.
For Myriad Genetics, Inc., this was not welcome news. Its share price fell by as much as 20%