Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


January 30, 2014

Tests Americans need to take

Detecting cancer and other serious diseases just got harder, thanks to a short-sighted decision from federal officials.

At issue are government payment rates for molecular diagnostic tests -- essentially, analyses of changes in a person’s genetic code and how those changes impact the individual’s disease.

Last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed severely reducing the amount that the government would pay for such tests. And just last week, the agency announced that it would not revise its reimbursement policy for 2014 -- thereby building on its previous cuts.

By failing to pay adequately for these diagnostics, officials are putting lives at risk and raising health costs in the process. They must change their tune -- and ensure that reimbursement rates are sufficient for all Americans to have comprehensive access to these tests.

Molecular diagnostics represent among the most promising developments in medicine.

In fact, they can help patients suffering from an illness receive more targeted, individualized, and effective care.

Molecular diagnostics have been particularly powerful in the fight against cancer, which kills almost 1,600 Americans every day.

Consider lung cancer. Scientists at The Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute have found that by analyzing over 50 genes in a lung cancer patient’s tumor biopsy, they can tailor a patient’s treatment based on mutations in those genes.

For example, if a mutation is found in the EGFR gene, the medications erlotinib or afatinib can be prescribed. These drugs have a 75-percent response rate. Standard chemotherapy, on the other hand, would have a 25-to-30 percent response rate to this particular patient’s cancer.

Genetic testing has revolutionized not just the quality of care but its cost, too. The logic is simple -- better, faster diagnostics yield more precise, timely and less wasteful care. That saves money.

Text Only
  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240. April 22 1 to 3 p.m. - Euchre at

    April 19, 2014

  • Hoosiers need to move over for workers GREENSBURG - Hoosiers need to slow down and move over to allow a cushion of space for vehicles stopped on the road's shoulder, particularly on the interstates. National Work Zone Awareness Week was last week and the 17th anniversary of Indiana State

    April 19, 2014

  • Lunch Menus April 21 – April 25 Good Shepherd Christian Academy Monday - Pizza, grape tomatoes, strawberries and cake, milk Tuesday - Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, ice cream, milk Wednesday - Chicken nuggets, tater tots, green beans, casserole, applesauce, milk Thu

    April 19, 2014

  • Graduation rates high GREENSBURG -- Greensburg and South Decatur High schools had among the best graduation rates in the state last year. North Decatur High School ranked near the middle, but still above the state average. Greensburg reported a graduation rate of 99.3 per

    April 19, 2014

  • nws-gb041914-pig virus photo Pig virus taking toll GREENSBURG -- When Decatur County farmer Jeff Smiley ducked into the nursery barn, about two dozen piglets rushed into a corner of their pen, their pinkish hides bouncing into one another like a porcine version of bumper cars. The piglet's round nose

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb041914-santee fire station - pic1 (please place on pg1) Clarksburg Vol. Fire Department breaks ground on Station 2 CLARKSBURG -- In 2012, members of the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) Board of Directors proposed building a new Firehouse to service the Lake Santee Community. CVFD Board President Wayne Geiss recalls that construction of a separate Fire

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • A pedicure that cured all my pet peeves Since I was a young person, I always had some pets around. Most of these have been dogs, hunting dogs in particular. And I loved my pets. In getting older, I discovered that having a pet dog around is a lot of work. More work than I care to do in lig

    April 19, 2014

  • Church Briefs Liberty Baptist Church Sunday, April 20 - Resurrection Sunday Liberty Baptist Church will have Sunrise Service at 7 a.m. in the Sanctuary, with the women doing the program. Following the Sunrise service the men of the congregation will serve Easter B

    April 19, 2014

  • Cards RHP Kelly on DL WASHINGTON -- St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The Cardinals also optioned righty reliever Keith Butler to Triple-A Memphis and recalled rookie right-handers Eric Forn

    April 18, 2014

  • nws-gb041814-ymca flat rock - pic2 Local retreat mostly unknown around Decatur County ST. PAUL -- Out in the northwest corner of Decatur County lies a place that's largely unknown within the county itself. Oddly enough, this hideaway of natural splendor is anything but secret to the rest of the world. From Spain and Hong Kong they com

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos