OBR Daily Commentary

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First Opinion: At-home Genetic Testing May Be Convenient, But It Isn’t Complete

(STAT) Mar 14, 2018 - While most home-delivery conveniences are generally changing our lives for the better — giving us more time and choices — at-home genetics kits that reveal information about the risk of developing certain cancers represent a risky step in our on-demand culture.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: March 15, 2018)

quotesWe are seeing a number of mail-in genetic tests being made available. I doubt that payers will cover the cost of these test, for the reasons noted intros piece. In most cases, the patient will take the results to their doctor, who will mostly rerun the test with a commercially available accepted test. It is this test that the payer will cover simply because the conditions in which the test sample was take is controlled, it is definite that the person being reported on, is the person would actually completed the test, and the results have shown utility and trust. Is 23 and Me just riding the ancestry wave?quotes

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Oncologists’ Charge Amounts Are Higher Than Other Specialties’

(Health Affairs blog) Mar 13, 2018 - In the ongoing discussion of the impact of high prices of oncology drugs, an important issue largely being overlooked is the charge (price) established by oncologists for office-administered drugs.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: March 15, 2018)

quotesThis article clearly points out the one area where "charges" has a major impact from a member liability standpoint. Out of Network non-coverage, or even balance billing is the one motivator to drive patients to stay "in Network". Of course, then the uninsured is the most vulnerable, with no coverage at all. However, when services are provided by an in-network provider, charges are meaningless. quotes

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Cigna To Buy Express Scripts For $54 Billion, Ending The Era Of The Standalone Drug Middleman

(Forbes) Mar 8, 2018 - Health insurer Cigna confirmed it will buy for $54 billion Express Scripts, the last major standalone pharmaceutical benefit manager.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: March 15, 2018)

quotesThe industry is definitely undergoing a major shakeup, and what falls out is anyone's guess. One would think that with the health plan and the PBM being joined at the hip, there would be a more integrated approach to managing patients. This is true of the UHC/Optum fully insured business, although clear improvement in outcomes have not been shown to my knowledge, It will be interesting to watch who becomes the controlling party here in terms of driving the formulary decisions and strategy.quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Woo...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Ronald H. Bloom Chair in Cancer Therapeutics
Pr...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
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Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...