Insurer’s Approval Of Genetic Testing For Some Cancers Raises Questions

(By – Julie Appleby, Kaiser health News)

Pennsylvania-based Independence Blue Cross’ announcement that it will cover a complex type of genetic testing for some cancer patients thrusts the insurer into an ongoing debate about how to handle an increasing array of these expensive tests.

Independence — with its approximately 3 million members — became the largest insurer to cover whole genome sequencing for select cancer patients. The analysis looks at the entire sequence of each tumor’s DNA and identifies mutated genes. Physicians can request this sequencing for children with tumors, patients with rare cancers, people with a type of breast cancer called triple negative and patients who have exhausted conventional therapies for metastatic cancer. Read more…


Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.


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