Sales of Direct-to-Consumer Clinical Laboratory Genetic Tests Soar, as Members of Congress Debate How Patient Data Should be Handled, Secured, and Kept Private

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing has been much in the news of late and clinical laboratories, anatomic pathology groups, and biomedical researchers have a stake in how the controversy plays out. While healthcare consumers seem enamored with the idea of investigating their genomic ancestry in growing numbers, the question of how the data is collected, secured, and distributed when and to whom, is under increased scrutiny by federal lawmakers, bioethicists, and research scientists....

Precision Medicine Requires Targeted Cancer Therapies, but Payers Reluctant to Pay for Some Genetic Testing Needed to Match a Patient with Right Drug

Clinical labs and pathology groups know how advances in targeted therapies and genomics far outpace providers’ and patients’ ability to know how best to use and pay for them. One fascinating development on the road to precision medicine is that many new cancer drugs now in clinical trials will require a companion genetic test to identify patients with tumors that will respond to a specific therapeutic drug.

Federal Regulators Issue Notice to DTC Test Company Orig3n That Its Purchase of Interleukin Genetics Could Involve CLIA Compliance Issues

CMS sends letter to Orig3n notifying the genetic test company that it may not have the required certifications to market its genetic tests Orig3n’s recent ill-fated “DNA Day” promotion to offer free genetic tests during an NFL football game this past fall pushed Orig3n into the media spotlight. The Massachusetts-based biotech company—which sells 18 different DNA tests on its website—suspended the promotion due to questions from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the...

State and Federal Agencies Throw Yellow Flag Delaying Free Genetic Tests at NFL Games in Baltimore—Are Clinical Laboratories on Notice about Free Testing?

Media coverage of a recent Orig3n promotion-and intervention from state and federal officials-reveals the level of discomfort public and policymakers have for handling the publics’ protected health information, including genetic test data Is it appropriate to offer free genetic tests to 70,000 fans attending a professional football game? Apparently not, say federal and state healthcare regulators who took steps to block a planned free genetic test giveaway that the Baltimore Ravens and...

How Close Is the End of Private Practice Pathology as We’ve Known It?

Payers are cutting reimbursements for anatomic pathology services, making it essential for every pathology group to understand its financial present and future Certain pathology business leaders are warning their colleagues that the era of private pathology group practice domination of the anatomic pathology marketplace is about to end. The only question is how rapidly the clinical and financial foundations of smaller pathology group practices erodes to the point where these groups are unable...