NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Myriad Genetics have inked an agreement to conduct an 18-month coverage with evidence development study for Myriad's rheumatoid arthritis test Vectra DA.
The 18-month clinical utility study aims to demonstrate whether Vectra DA — a test that predicts whether a rheumatoid arthritis patient is at risk for radiographic progression — enables rheumatologists to optimize treatment for better patient outcomes and reduces costs compared to conventional approaches.
The study will be conducted within CareFirst's new Healthworx program, through which the insurer can make new technologies and interventions available to its members. The clinical utility study around Vectra DA will involve approximately 40 rheumatologists in the CareFirst network.
"Historically, disease activity measures were subjective or not reproducible and as a consequence, inconsistently used to guide treatment decisions for rheumatoid arthritis patients," CareFirst VP and Senior Medical Director Daniel Winn said in a statement. "CareFirst is committed to making timely and informed decisions about molecular diagnostic tests that show potential to improve outcomes and lower costs."
According to Myriad, around 70 percent of practicing rheumatologists have used Vectra DA to optimize therapy decisions for more than 350,000 patients. For fiscal year 2017, Myriad recorded $43.7 million in Vectra DA revenues.
The firm is hoping that this CED model can be extended to other tests. "We believe this collaborative approach can be replicated with other molecular diagnostics to speed up the reimbursement process for innovative new technologies," Chip Parkinson, executive VP of reimbursement strategies at Myriad, said in a statement.