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New Health Plans Sign on for McKesson's Solutions for MDx, Genetic Testing

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Healthcare solutions firm McKesson announced last week the licensing of its molecular and genetic diagnostic management solutions to three health plans, bringing the total number of managed care organizations using its services to 44.

Molina Healthcare, Paramount Healthcare, and Providence Health Plans, part of the five-state Providence Health & Services, are the newest plans to use McKesson's offerings in order to "manage the enormous growth, complexity, and costs associated with molecular and genetic testing," McKesson said in a statement.

"As Molina watches the continued growth of personalized medicine and genetic testing, we are excited about what these new developments mean for our members and for the way healthcare works," Michael Siegel, vice president of utilization management and quality improvement for Molina, said. "However, the area of molecular diagnostics is a difficult one to manage because it's evolving so quickly and there is a constant influx of new tests."

McKesson's solutions will help Molina manage use of such tests and to understand the evidence supporting use of the tests," Siegel added.

McKesson's molecular and genetic testing management offerings "align health plans, ordering physicians, and clinical labs to simplify" test utilization, a spokeswoman for the company told GenomeWeb Daily News in an e-mail. By using its offerings, health plans can determine the medical appropriateness of test orders for each specific patient clinical scenario.

"We can then codify health plan coverage rules for each test, including whether tests require preauthorization, genetic counseling, or notification, as well as which in-network labs are most appropriate to perform certain tests," the spokeswoman said.

McKesson added that the demand for molecular and genetic testing is rising. The market is currently estimated at $7 billion with an annual growth rate of 15 to 20 percent.