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Palmetto may not cover CTC assays

February 20, 2014 1:52 AM UTC

Medicare contractor Palmetto GBA may not reimburse circulating tumor cell (CTC) assays for malignant diagnoses, including the CellSearch Circulating Tumor Cell Kit from the Veridex LLC unit of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and the OncoCEE-BR breast cancer test from Biocept Inc. (NASDAQ:BIOC). Palmetto -- which covers West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina -- has previously provided limited coverage for CellSearch, but noted in a draft non-coverage determination that there has been no data showing CTC assays improve patient outcomes or change physician management. Comments are due Feb. 24. J&J said a final decision is expected in early March. ...