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Biodesix, Inc. announced that its VeriStrat® test is now considered a medically necessary benefit by Aetna Corporation (NYSE: AET).  Aetna published a positive coverage policy for the VeriStrat proteomic test on June 5th, stating the test is medically necessary “for patients with advanced NSCLC, whose tumors were without EGFR and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) mutations…” Aetna’s positive coverage position can be found in their Tumor Markers medical policy posted on the company’s website.

With a simple blood draw and test results provided within 72 hours, VeriStrat provides physicians with actionable information prior to making treatment decisions.  With VeriStrat, physicians have prognostic and predictive information which enables them to make more informed choices for their patients. Assessing the patient’s VeriStrat status just prior to making treatment decisions enables physicians to avoid ineffective therapy options and to understand the aggressiveness of the patient’s overall disease.

“At Biodesix, our mission is to offer blood-based tests that make a significant difference in patients’ survival and quality of life,” said Biodesix’ CEO, David Brunel. “Positive coverage for VeriStrat by Aetna has now increased the availability of this test to a total of more than 160 million people across the US.  We are pleased to see yet another major health plan recognizes the medical necessity of VeriStrat.”

Lung cancer accounts for the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women.  With a membership of 46 million people, Aetna is among the largest commercial health plans in the United States. Aetna now joins UnitedHealthcare (NYSE: UNH), Cigna (NYSE: CI), CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS), Highmark (a BCBS affiliate), Medicare, and other state and regional health plans in covering VeriStrat for their patients.

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Source:  Press release

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