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Cancer test expenses taken up by Medicare

Genomic Health Inc. told the National Heritage Insurance Co., the contractor that administers// Medicare programs in California, that Medicare has accepted to cover its test.

After this the company’s share rose by 35%. By mid-afternoon it rose from $2.46 to $12.41 on Nasdaq. The company prepares oncotype DX breast cancer test.

The National Heritage Insurance Co. is taking all the responsibility to cover the medical expenses related to the test. The test is as of now done by the Genomic Health’s clinical reference laboratory at Redwood City, California.

The company would take care of the expenditures only for those patients who have utilized the services from February 27th. 5000 patients used this service in the period of first nine months in the yea of 2004.

But only 500 used it in the initial year on the market. The test cost about $3,400 and is very effective. They have invited patients who have had estrogen-sensitive cancers which have not invaded the near by lymph nodes to take up the test.

There are about 125,000 women who are the potential candidates for this test. This test accurately identifies the tumors that have a high chance of recurrence after treatment with hormone therapy or surgery.


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