TARRYTOWN, New YorkThe American Medical Association (AMA) has
approved a unique Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for the serum
HER-2/neu oncoprotein test. The CPT code, 83950 became effective January 1,
2002, for most health insurance programs.
Additionally, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has
proposed that the oncoprotein HER-2/neu serum test be reimbursed at $89.01,
starting in January 2002 for Medicare.
As a complement to conventional tissue testing such as immunohistochemistry
or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), which can determine a woman’s
HER-2 status, serum monitoring provides a "real time" picture of a
woman’s HER-2 levels, according to a press release by Bayer Diagnostics.
Development and commercialization of the serum HER-2/neu oncoprotein test
began in 1997 as a collaboration between Bayer Diagnostics and Oncogene
Science. Today, Bayer Diagnostics’ Oncogene Science Group functions as a
specialized center of excellence focused on clinical research and development of cancer
diagnostic tests based on oncogenes, tumor-suppressor genes, and other gene
targets whose proteins are directly involved in tumor growth or