January 13, 2006
Genomic Health says Medicare to cover cancer test
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Genomic Health Inc. said on Friday
that Medicare has agreed to cover the company's test for
determining whether a woman with early breast cancer is likely
to be helped by chemotherapy, sending the company's shares up
as much as 35 percent.
Genomic rose $2.46, or 25 percent, to $12.41 on Nasdaq at
Genomic Health said National Heritage Insurance Co., the
contractor that administers Medicare programs in California,
has established a positive coverage policy for the Oncotype DX
breast cancer test.
All Medicare claims for the test are currently billed
through NHIC because the test is conducted by Genomic Health in
its Redwood City, California, clinical reference laboratory.
The coverage is scheduled to become effective for claims
for services performed on or after February 27, the company
The $3,400 test, launched in 2004, was used by about 5,000
patients in the first nine months of last year, compared with
500 in its first year on the market, Chief Executive Randy
Scott said earlier this week.
The 125,000 women diagnosed each year with
estrogen-sensitive tumors whose cancer has not spread to the
lymph nodes are candidates for using the test, which can
identify which tumors are likely to recur after surgery and
treatment with hormonal drugs.