Theranos’ Holmes Marks 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid with Vision for Next 50 Years

Friday, July 31, 2015

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A group of bipartisan elected officials and leaders in health care, including Theranos Founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, joined AmeriHealth Caritas today for a conference marking the 50th anniversary of Medicaid. The wide-ranging event highlighted Theranos’ innovative lab services and commitment to lowering costs for the Medicare and Medicaid programs and their beneficiaries. In a discussion moderated by former Meet the Press anchor David Gregory, Ms. Holmes and Paul Tufano, Chairman and CEO of Theranos strategic partner AmeriHealth Caritas, discussed the role that technology can play in addressing the challenges in health care, and Theranos’ leadership in providing its innovative technology to Medicaid managed care members, a community that sometimes lacks access to the latest health care advancements. Their discussion, entitled “Driving Change Through Innovation,” also touched on comments made late last week by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who called Theranos “the laboratory of the future.”

“The anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid is an opportunity for us to look back on the five decades of a landmark law that improved access to health care, but it’s also an opportunity for us to look to the future and ask what we want the next fifty years to look like. Today, 70% of clinical decisions are based on lab tests and yet people have difficulty accessing them. Our data show that at least 40% of lab test orders don’t even get filled. This is a barrier to individuals engaging in early detection and preventive care,” said Elizabeth Holmes. “Innovative technologies can remove some of those barriers and bring high quality services to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, in convenient locations and at convenient hours.”

The discussion also addressed the impact of increased costs on the Medicare and Medicaid programs, citing Theranos’ transparent prices as a model for the industry, including reducing the costs of laboratory diagnostic tests. Much of the discussion built upon Holmes’ recent delineation of a strategy for realizing a preventive health care system in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. During her conversation with Tufano and Gregory, Holmes elaborated on this point in the context of the future of federal programs, saying that as we shift the paradigm from reactive to preventive health care, Medicare and Medicaid will see financial benefit from individuals who detect and address diseases like diabetes and heart disease before more costly treatments are necessary and outcomes are uncertain. “Medicare and Medicaid stand for the proposition that cost should not be a barrier to health care. We believe the same must be said of lab tests - nobody should have to forgo a lab test because she can’t afford it or can’t figure out how much it costs. Today’s lab tests are overpriced and the market does not function because those prices aren’t transparent. Medicare and Medicaid are also overpaying for lab tests, and that threatens the sustainability of these crucial programs. We can achieve significant cost savings by making tests available for a fraction of the going rate, and in doing so facilitate better access to these tests that form the foundation of early diagnosis and treatment. And we can allow the market to function through price transparency and consumer engagement, fueling further innovation which will not only improve the quality of care but also provide associated cost reductions.”

Tufano emphasized the importance of enabling access for the underserved to innovations like Theranos’ groundbreaking technology, saying “Our vision for hosting an event on the 50th anniversary of Medicaid comes down to the people we serve, the disadvantaged and chronically ill. I'm energized by the diverse backgrounds represented at our full-day forum, and inspired by the willingness of so many thought leaders to have an honest dialogue about health care for those who are most in need. Elizabeth's participation demonstrates the shared mission of both Theranos and AmeriHealth Caritas. The technology offered by Theranos is revolutionizing laboratory services across the United States and we want our members to be some of the first who benefit from it. I'm excited about the work our organizations will accomplish together.”

Theranos’ platform is a global model for health care, shifting the paradigm away from diagnosis and treatment, to one focused on early detection and prevention. The FDA recently cleared Theranos’ finger stick blood test technology and underlying system on which those tests are run, and approved a waiver that paves the way for putting Theranos’ tests in the field at point of care, a major milestone for the company and the national preventive care landscape.

All of Theranos’ tests are the same price for everyone, regardless of insurance status, and billed at rates 50% or more below the Medicare reimbursement rate. Theranos is leading transparency in lab testing, including committing to FDA review of all of its laboratory developed tests and publishing its prices, lab proficiency testing scores, customer satisfaction scores, guest visit times, and more.

About Theranos:

Headquartered in Palo Alto, Theranos, Inc. is a consumer health care technology company. Theranos’ clinical laboratory offers comprehensive laboratory tests from samples as small as a few drops of blood at unprecedented low prices. Founded in 2003 by Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos’ mission is to make actionable health information accessible to people everywhere in the world at the time it matters, enabling early detection and intervention of disease, and empowering individuals with information to live the lives they want to live. Visit us at theranos.com. Follow us at @theranos.

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