IN THE FIRST BROAD EXPANSION OF ITS pilot decision-support program for clinical lab testing in Florida, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will add genetic and molecular tests, drug tests, and pathology procedures, among other assays starting in two months.
On March 1, UHC will expand its laboratory benefit management program in Florida beyond the initial 80 routine anatomical and
CEO SUMMARY: There’s great news for pathologists and PhDs with expertise in molecular and genetic testing. Salaries are on the rise as more clinical labs build up their molecular and genetic testing programs and need talent to implement and supervise this activity. One experienced medical recruiter recently surveyed all the current pathology openings nationally. He
CEO SUMMARY: For three years, Cigna has required genetic counseling for members seeking genetic testing for hereditary breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancer, and for a particular heart condition. Such counseling increased member satisfaction, causing Cigna to expand the program. It now requires genetic counseling with an independent board-certified genetics specialist for members considering whole exome
CEO SUMMARY: Managed care experts say health insurers are being overwhelmed by the number of new genetic tests and that many labs find it tough to get paid for these tests. UnitedHealthcare just announced it will require pre-authorization of molecular and genetic tests during 2016. Meanwhile, Cigna, which already has pre-authorization in place for certain genetic tests, said it intends to
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,
CEO SUMMARY: Clinical laboratories of all sizes are poised to become the source of much of a hospital or health system’s “big data.” At many academic center labs, greater use of genetic and molecular testing requires that more space and more staff be devoted to data management. At the same time, the latest generation of gene sequencing instruments and molecular analyzers are cheaper, faster, and more automated. These systems make it feasible for even smaller labs to offer sophisticated genetic tests.
CEO SUMMARY: There will be an expanding role for innovative clinical labs as healthcare moves forward on its path toward personalized medicine. However, to capitalize on this opportunity, pathology groups and clinical labs will need to beef up their information systems. They will also need to recruit lab staff who are skilled in interpreting molecular
CEO SUMMARY: For disease diagnostics, exome sequencing is not yet routine, but geneticists are getting close. Using this technology, researchers read those parts of the human genome where about 85% of disease-causing mutations reside. By looking only at the regions that encode proteins—the workhorse machinery of the cell—researchers identify dis- ease causes much faster than