McKesson hosts summit for leaders from health plans and labs

July 13, 2010

NEWTON, Mass., July 13, 2010 — McKesson recently held its first in a series of advanced diagnostics summits for health insurance plans and clinical laboratories to share ideas on how to ensure the most appropriate use of new advanced diagnostics. The event took place in May at Harvard Medical School in Boston, bringing together senior executives from Massachusetts market organizations to discuss how to optimize individual patients’ preventive and therapeutic care while reducing overall healthcare costs. McKesson will sponsor future summits in California, New York, Pennsylvania and other major healthcare markets.

Advanced diagnostics, such as molecular and genetic testing, offer great promise for improved care. But health plans and labs alike are challenged with ensuring appropriate utilization and reimbursement without clear answers to questions such as: Which tests should be covered? How should they be coded? How can physicians access the information they need for appropriate ordering? With a new molecular test being introduced every three to five days and the market for these tests growing at more than 20 percent annually, issues around test use, coding, reimbursements and authorization are compounding. And, because lab tests affect 70 percent of healthcare decisions, the potential impact of advanced diagnostics on the total cost of care is significant.

Summit participants gained a deeper understanding of each others’ environments while agreeing the current situation is not sustainable. Areas of consensus included a call for coding standards similar to NDC and NCPDP for pharmacy, access to transparent coverage information for clinicians and clinical labs and standardized test catalogues across constituents.

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