Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

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.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.