Click here to close now.


Agile Computing Authors: Jennifer Gill, Betty Zakheim, Deep Bhattacharjee, David Dodd, Greg O'Connor

News Feed Item

American Medical Association and McKesson Team Up to Bring Transparency and Clarity to Molecular Diagnostic Testing

The American Medical Association (AMA) and McKesson have entered into a licensing relationship to offer the healthcare system a consistent and transparent way to identify and track molecular diagnostic (MDx) tests. Under the agreement, McKesson Z-Code™ Identifiers will be grouped and indexed with corresponding molecular pathology codes in the AMA’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set. With identifiers and codes working in tandem to create a comprehensive reference for identifying and tracking MDx tests, the healthcare industry can better understand the growth in this area to support advanced diagnostics innovation.

Today, over 3,000 molecular and genetic diagnostics are marketed for clinical use. According to Frost & Sullivan, MDx is the fastest growing sector of clinical pathology lab testing, with revenues expected to reach $6.2 billion by 2014 and a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 11 percent. Although these diagnostics hold great promise to influence the cost and quality of care by informing care decisions, their impact has not been clearly articulated and quantified. With the introduction of next-generation and whole genome sequencing, the scale of this challenge grows exponentially.

“CPT is a foundational component of healthcare, a shared terminology that physicians, hospitals and payers use to report and reimburse for services delivered to patients. With MDx tests growing so quickly, understanding their clinical and financial impact across the healthcare system is challenging. Identifying new tests as they evolve is critical to support smarter and more informed care decisions to address the quality and cost of care,” said Matthew Zubiller, vice president of decision management at McKesson Health Solutions.

“We are pleased to be working with the AMA to help improve test identification, which will enhance transparency for physicians, hospitals, laboratories and payers when it comes to diagnostics, treatment selection and prognosis. Greater clarity will bring healthcare stakeholders one step closer to the collaboration needed to assess these tests and make the most informed test selection, coverage and payment decisions, resulting in better business for providers and payers and better care for patients,” said Emad Rizk, M.D., president of McKesson Health Solutions.

In 2011, McKesson created the McKesson Diagnostics Exchange™, a software-as-a-service catalog and shared workflow solution that laboratories and diagnostics manufacturers can use to submit information about their specific MDx tests, and providers and payers can use to understand and evaluate them. The McKesson Diagnostics Exchange issues a unique Z-Code Identifier to each test and catalogs it for reference and understanding by other stakeholders in the healthcare system.

The relationship between the AMA and McKesson will result in the creation of a new reference product that maps Z-Code Identifiers to CPT codes. The AMA will use the information that labs and manufacturers submit and then share in the McKesson Diagnostics Exchange to assign CPT code mappings where appropriate. Not all Z-Code Identifiers will immediately map to a CPT code, and, in many cases, multiple Z-Code Identifiers will map to a single CPT code. The new product will be available for licensing from the AMA early in 2014.

“The McKesson Diagnostics Exchange provides an infrastructure that will support the AMA’s efforts to advance personalized medicine, promote access to innovative diagnostic capabilities and improve patient outcomes,” said James L. Madara, M.D., AMA chief executive officer and executive vice president. “The added capabilities will complement the AMA’s ongoing development and maintenance of a CPT code set for molecular diagnostic services and provide a valuable tool for physicians, hospitals, payers and the diagnostics industry that will help organize vital information about MDx tests.”

The AMA has been involved with coding solutions for molecular pathology services since 1998. New, more detailed CPT codes for molecular pathology services became effective in 2012 to capture and describe the latest scientific advances in this rapidly expanding field of medicine. The ongoing process has so far created more than 100 codes for reporting innovative diagnostic services. This collaboration complements the recent efforts that the AMA and McKesson have undertaken to work closely to share terminology with the National Institutes of Health’s Genetic Testing Registry.

Connecting Z-Code Identifiers with CPT codes is expected to yield many benefits:

  • Laboratories will have an opportunity for their tests to be mapped to CPT codes where appropriate, which will give them the ability to more precisely identify which test was performed and then reported with the appropriate CPT code, potentially improving efficiencies in the reimbursement process.
  • Clinicians will be able to access a tool to help them accurately identify and select tests.
  • Payers will have additional detailed test information to help identify the tests being performed, thus providing the industry with the ability to track outcomes on specific tests and analyze the value of these tests.
  • Patients will benefit from this collaboration as it supports medicine’s overarching goals of reducing disease burdens and improving health outcomes.

For more information on McKesson Health Solutions, please visit our Web site, hear from our experts at MHSdialogue, and follow us on Twitter at @McKesson_MHS.

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association helps doctors help patients by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional, public health and health policy issues. The nation’s largest physician organization plays a leading role in shaping the future of medicine. For more information on the AMA, please visit

About McKesson Corporation

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. We partner with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit us at

Tags: AMA, American Medical Association, McKesson, McKesson Health Solutions, CPT codes, Z-Code Identifiers, MDx, molecular diagnostics, evidence-based medicine, EBM, molecular pathology, personalized medicine

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.