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Four Community Hospitals Join DNA Direct's Genomic Medicine Network
Date:1/31/2011

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA Direct, a wholly owned subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) and a leading provider of guidance and decision support for genomic medicine, announced today that Aspirus Wausau Hospital of Wausau, Wisconsin, Atlantic Health of Morristown, New Jersey, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center of Rochester, Michigan and Swedish Covenant Hospital of Chicago, Illinois, have joined the Genomic Medicine Network to provide personalized medicine services to their patients.

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"We are very excited to have these innovative hospitals join the Genomic Medicine Network," said Ryan Phelan, Founder & President of DNA Direct. "Community hospitals are facing a challenging environment today and integrating personalized medicine into clinical care is a great way for hospitals to differentiate their services, educate medical staff and improve patient outcomes."

Launched in 2009, the Genomic Medicine Network (GMN) provides hospitals with both a patient and physician web-based personalized medicine portal. The patient portal provides educational content, decision support to help determine test appropriateness and access to genetic experts.

The physician portal assists physicians and medical staff as they make informed decisions that improve patient outcomes and includes web-based decision support, continuing education and training and access to genetic counselors that are available for consult.

With more than 2,000 diseases for which molecular diagnostic and genetic tests are available today, physicians need support determining which tests are clinically appropriate and clear guidance for diagnosis and treatment decisions. DNA Direct's resources help physicians identify risks and better understand when genetic or personalized medicine tests may be appropriate.

Findings from a national benchmark survey, conducted in 2009 by Medco and the American Medical Association, showed that while the vast majority of physicians recognize the contribution of genetic tests for improving medication response by guiding the prescribing and dosing of many widely used medications, most doctors don't feel they know enough about these tests to put them into practice. In 2010, Medco released new data from a study that also showed that when both physicians and patients are informed about choices regarding testing and the process is made convenient, the adoption of genetic tests is substantially increased.

Physicians and their patients can use genetic information to not only better understand health risks, but to also choose therapies that will work best based on their genetic profile, and pursue prevention strategies for common diseases.

"We at Atlantic Health are excited to add Personalized Medicine services working with DNA Direct and its Genomic Medicine Network. We believe that genomic medicine is becoming an important part of day-to-day medical practice and a key piece of the puzzle as we all seek to better stratify risk factors and improve care for our patients," said Dr. Arnold Pallay, Director of Primary Care Genomics at Atlantic Health. "Providing a community portal, decision support tools and physician education goes a long way towards meeting the needs of patients and physicians alike. We look forward to offering our community these services and also collaborating with the other innovative hospitals in the network on research protocols, clinical consulting and educational experiences."

The GMN brings physicians together across the country as peers to share best practices, clinical experiences and general knowledge across all specialties. The network is comprised of forward-thinking hospitals focused on innovation and is a valuable collaborative environment. The network will also work together in personalized medicine research studies, clinical trials, and personalized medicine programs based on the unique demographics of each hospital.

About DNA Direct

DNA Direct, a wholly owned subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions, delivers guidance and decision support for genomic medicine to patients, providers and payers. The company's comprehensive clinical programs are unique to genomic medicine, and combine proprietary technology with genetic expertise, including a national call center of genetic experts, web-based applications, and educational resources and training. The company is based in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.dnadirect.com.


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SOURCE DNA Direct
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