Government to cover genomic testing for Medicare cancer patients

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In Maryland, the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said that diagnostic laboratory tests using Next Generation Sequencing would be covered by the government healthcare program. The USDA recently approved the tests and is a step forward in personalized medicine, as for example, a Medicare patient with breast cancer could have treatments customized to their genetic profile for a higher chance of success, or could help determine the patient’s candidacy for clinical trials.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement to Reuters, “We want cancer patients to have enhanced access and expanded coverage when it comes to innovative diagnostics that can help them in new and better ways.”