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A SOCIETY formed to promote in vitro allergy testing has won approval for the controversial technology from Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
"The Blues' decision at the top level indicates that this test is reasonable, the cost-benefit ratio is reasonable, the way it is being done is not abusive, and it contributes to patient care," says American In Vitro Allergy and Immunology Society president-elect Russell Williams, Jr, MD. However, the national Blues' statement is only "informational." Independent local plans that are considering a change in their own reimbursement policy are bound to hear reservations from other allergists.
The technology "just is not at the point yet where we're ready to shift," says Donald Aaronson, MD, immediate past president of the American College of Allergy and Immunology. And in declaring in vitro tests "eligible for coverage," the Blues' revised Uniform Medical Policy statement equates them to other widely used but controversial
Cotton P. New Allergy Society, Formed to Advocate In Vitro Laboratory Test, Wins Reimbursement Victory. JAMA. 1990;264(17):2184–2187. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450170020003
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