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Medicare to Cover UPMC’s Thyroid Nodule Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) said today that its ThyroSeq thyroid genomic classifier has been approved for Medicare coverage by Medicare Administrative Contractor Novitas Solutions.

The next-generation sequencing-based test is designed to analyze a panel of 112 genes to help in the diagnosis of thyroid nodules with indeterminate fine-needle aspiration cytology, as well as provide prognostic information that can guide the treatment of cancerous nodules. It was developed by UPMC, which partnered with Sonic Healthcare to form a company — called ThyroSeq — to commercialize the test.

According to UPMC, Novitas' decision will make the test available to more than 50 million Medicare patients nationwide.

"Our test allows patients who don’t actually have cancer to avoid unnecessary surgery and preserve their thyroid function, saving them from a lifetime of synthetic thyroid medications and specialist visits," Marina Nikiforova, director of the UPMC Molecular & Genomic Pathology Laboratory, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, ThyroSeq announced that its test had received a positive coverage determination from Aetna.