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Priority Health Becomes First Health Plan to Cover Foundation Medicine's Tests

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Priority Health has begun coverage of Foundation Medicine's genomic profiling services for cancer, making the health plan the first in the country to provide such coverage, the companies said after the close of the market on Thursday.

The positive coverage decision is for FoundationOne and FondationOne Heme. FoundationOne interrogates the entire coding region in 315 genes and select introns in 28 genes that are commonly altered in solid tumors. FoundationOne Heme analyzes DNA in 405 genes and RNA in 265 genes that are often altered in blood-based malignancies, sarcomas, and select pediatric cancers. Both services provide information that enable clinicians to more appropriately select therapies for their patients.

During the summer, the New York State Department of Health approved Foundation Medicine to market the tests to residents of the state.

Priority Health Associate Vice President of Medical Affairs John Fox said in a statement that cancers have been historically categorized and treated based on where they are located in the body. "With additional information available about the underlying genomic drivers of a tumor's growth, we're helping our members to access customized treatment options with targeted therapies," he said.

The health plan is based in Grand Rapids, Mich., and has more than 900,000 healthcare providers in its network. According to Priority Health's website, it has 600,000 members.

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