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: One essential element of precision medicine will be the regular use of pharmacogenomic testing to provide additional guidance to physicians when selecting the most appropriate therapeutics and optimal dose for each individual patient. Despite the reluctance of private payers and Medicare to reimburse for pharmacogenomic tests, Avera Institute for Human Genetics (AIHG) in
CEO SUMMARY: In the 1960s, it was a race to be first in space between the United States and the Soviet Union. This decade, it’s a race to be first in genetic and precision medicine between the U.S. and China. To that end, the Chinese government has budgeted $9 billion as an investment to further
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: 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
Sandy, Utah-based Sure Genomics is the latest genetic testing company to get a letter from the Food and Drug Administration asking why the company is marketing its SureDNA genetic testing kit to consumers without first obtaining clearance from the federal agency. The FDA sent the letter to Sure Genomics earlier this month and noted that the
Sakura Finetek USA, Inc., announced on January 5 that it had acquired 100% of the stock of GeneMed Biotechnologies Inc., of South San Francisco, California, along with its “tissue-based advanced staining business for cancer detection, diagnosis, and monitoring.” GeneMed’s liquid-based molecular products were not part of the acquisition and will be put into an independent business.
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
“Innovator of the Year” honors were recently bestowed on Robin Felder, Ph.D., who is Professor of Pathology and Associate Director of Clinical Chemistry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. Felder was selected as the winner of the 2012 Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year Award, the highest honor bestowed by the University of Virginia.
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