NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Interpace Diagnostics announced today that Aetna has agreed to cover its ThyraMir microRNA classifier test for thyroid nodules.
Aetna, the third largest insurer in the US, will allow all 46 million of its members access to ThyraMir. In 2015, Aetna published a favorable coverage policy for Interpace's ThyGenX genetic mutation panel for assessing fine needle aspiration samples from indeterminate thyroid nodules. ThyraMir is used in conjunction with ThyGenX.
The new agreement brings insurance coverage for Interpace's thyroid assays to approximately 200 million patients nationwide. Medicare administrative carrier Novitas Solutions issued a positive coverage decision for ThyraMir in February, after previously agreeing to cover ThyGenX. The company has also received positive coverage decisions from insurance plans such as Blue Cross Blue Shield.
According to the American Cancer Society, thyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the US, tripling in the past three decades. Most physicians recommend thyroid surgery in cases where thyroid nodule biopsy results are not clearly benign or malignant. However, between 70 percent and 80 percent of these surgical outcomes are ultimately benign. Molecular testing using ThyGenX and ThyraMir has been shown to reduce the rate of unnecessary surgeries in indeterminate cases.
"The acceptance by Aetna to cover both ThyGenX and ThyraMir is further support of the clinical utility as well as clinical validity of our combined thyroid assays," Interpace President and CEO Jack Stover said in a statement. "We are pleased that Aetna has joined the growing list of health plans that cover ThyraMir and that their 46 million members will now have access to the benefits of the ThyGenX-ThyraMir test combination."