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Group Health Cooperative to Cover Exact Sciences' Cologuard

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Exact Sciences today announced Group Health Cooperative will be the first health plan in Wisconsin to offer to its patients the company's recently US Food and Drug Administration-approved Cologuard colorectal cancer screening test.

The test will be available to patients covered by Group Health as part of their laboratory benefits and can be prescribed by their primary care physicians. The test was approved by the FDA last month. Simultaneously, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also issued a proposed national coverage determination for Cologuard.

Cologuard is a stool-based test that analyzes hemoglobin, multiple DNA methylation biomarkers, mutations in the KRAS gene, and the total amount of DNA.

"With colorectal cancer in particular, a high level of non-compliance with existing screening options has hampered our ability to identify the disease in its early stages when it is most treatable.," Group Health CEO Kevin Hayden said in a statement. "Making Cologuard available will hopefully encourage patients to get regular screenings and, in turn, improve survival rates for this preventable cancer.”

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