Medicare oks colon cancer test

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Palmetto GBA, the designated national contractor for the Oncotype DX colon cancer test, has established a formal coverage policy for all Medicare patients, according to Genomic Health. The Oncotype DX colon cancer test has been clinically validated to predict risk of recurrence in patients with stage II colon cancer.

The policy covers men and women with stage II colon cancer. Palmetto's decision is based on the QUASAR and CALGB clinical validation studies in addition to clinical utility information. The coverage is effective for claims for services performed on or after Sept. 18.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Genomic Health plans to expand its Oncotype DX colon cancer offering to include immunohistochemistry testing for mismatch repair status to assess stage II colon cancer recurrence risk.

Reimbursement for the Oncotype DX colon test was established by Palmetto using resource-based analysis and an independent pharmacoeconomic analysis, and is consistent with previous decisions by other payors.